Ben Fisher

Reporting from Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

Ben Fisher is a Seattle-based freelance writer. Previously, he worked as night and copy editor at the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s largest English language newspaper, and as digital editor of Jewish Quarterly. He is fluent English, French, Hebrew, and Arabic.

Published on
January 8, 2018

Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz has ruled that Cooke Aquaculture must shut down its Atlantic salmon net pen farm off the Ediz Hook in Port Angeles, citing lease violations including a defective anchoring system and styrofoam discharge into Puget Sound. 

In response, the Canada-based aquaculture firm, which has eight farms in Washington, has filed a lawsuit against the state claiming that it was not in default and

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Published on
December 22, 2017

Fish 2.0 matches 14 innovative seafood companies with industry connections

Fish 2.0, a Carmel, California–based social enterprise that connects investors and entrepreneurs to grow the global sustainable seafood sector, has announced the 14 winners of second round prizes for the final awards of the 2017 Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum. 

The prizes in this round were industry connection prizes, which match fledgling seafood business with an

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Published on
December 21, 2017

More than three months after more than 150,000 Atlantic salmon escaped from Cooke Aquaculture’s pens near Cypress Island, Washington, the non-native fish have been found more than 42 miles up the Skagit River, an important tributary for native salmon, the Seattle Times reported.

On a recent fishing expedition on the river, a crew of Skagit Indian fisherman caught more Atlantic salmon than any other species.

Scott Schuyler, the

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Published on
December 19, 2017

A Cooke Aquaculture fish farm in Port Angeles, Washington has had its license revoked after a series of violations, the Seattle Times reported.

The farm, which has been in existence since 1984, was causing a hazard to private and public lands, with decomposing Styrofoam breaking off from the farm’s floats. Additionally, the pens in such a condition that it was distinctly possible that another non-native fish escape would occur, similar to

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Published on
November 29, 2017

As personnel from Cooke Aquaculture were busy responding to the collapse of a net pen near Cypress Island, Washington in September, another one of its salmon farming sites in the state was vandalized and robbed.

An unknown number of Atlantic salmon were taken from two of the 10 net pens at Cooke Aquaculture’s floating farm near Anacortes on 2 September, KUOW reported on 28 November. The site was also vandalized, resulting in damage to the

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Published on
November 20, 2017

Washington State State Senator Kevin Ranker will introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session that will allow leases for net-pen Atlantic salmon farming in the state to run out by 2025. 

If the bill passes, it will not permit the creation of new Atlantic salmon farms, and existing farming would be governed under stricter guidelines. 

The move by the Democratic lawmaker comes after more than 100,000 Atlantic salmon escaped from

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Published on
November 15, 2017

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has released initial season-end figures for the state’s 2017 salmon harvest, which indicate that the fishery had another extremely successful year. 

Around 224.6 million wild salmon were caught, worth an estimated USD 678.8 million (EUR 582.4 million) – up 66.7 percent from USD 407.3 million (EUR 349.5 million) in value compared to 2016.

Sockeye salmon accounted for almost half of

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Published on
November 14, 2017

Eight sustainable seafood businesses won cash prizes at the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum in Palo Alto, California, U.S.A. last week, beating out a competitive field that had been narrowed down to 22 presenters.

Among the winners were Real Oyster Cult, based in Duxbury, Massachusetts, U.S.A. which delivers fresh oysters to customers with overnight shipping, and EnerGaia, which is based in Bangkok, Thailand, and grows spirulina, an algae superfood,

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Published on
October 26, 2017

Alaska has produced more than 169 billion pounds of fish since statehood was granted to the Last Frontier in 1959, and the Alaskan seafood industry brings in enough product annually to feed every person in the world a serving of Alaskan seafood. 

These and other statistics relating to the seafood industry in the state can be found in “The Economic Value of Alaska’s Seafood Industry,” a joint report by The Alaska Seafood

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Published on
October 13, 2017

Cooke Aquaculture, the company that owns the fish nets near Cypress Island, Washington, from which an estimated 105,000 Atlantic salmon escaped from faulty netting in August, offered last month to pay the Lummi Nation, a local Native American tribe, a premium for the escaped non-native fish that they caught, in exchange for the tribe not speaking out against net pen aquaculture. 

Tomothy Ballew II, chairman of the Lummi Business Council

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