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
March 1, 2018

It has not been a great six months for Cooke Aquaculture, the Canadian fish farming company responsible for a Atlantic salmon net-pen farm collapse off of Cypress Island, in Washington state.

A half-year after the collapse, Washington has moved to ban Atlantic salmon fishing outright. A bill passed both houses of the state’s legislature in February, a move that could cost Cooke – the largest salmon-farming company in the state

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Published on
February 23, 2018

Cooke Aquaculture CEO Glenn B. Cooke traveled to Olympia, Washington, the state’s capital, in an attempt to sway lawmakers not to enact a ban on Atlantic salmon aquaculture.

The New Brunswick, Canada-based fish farming firm Cooke leads was responsible for the escape of a quarter-million non-native fish into Puget Sound in August 2017, leading the Washington State Senate and House of Representatives to consider bills to phase out and then

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Published on
February 21, 2018

A bill that would phase out existing Atlantic salmon aquaculture in the state of Washington by 2025 and would also ban new leases, was approved by the Washington State House of Representatives and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee. 

The bill, which was approved by the Washington State Senate by a 35-12 vote earlier in February, was introduced in the aftermath of the escape of over a quarter-million Atlantic salmon

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Published on
February 12, 2018

The Washington State Senate has voted by a wide margin of 35-12 to ban the farming of Atlantic salmon once existing leases for the cultivation of the non-native fish have expired. 

The legislation was endorsed by Democratic Governor Jay Inslee, who called Atlantic salmon farming “a risk that is intolerable.” 

The bill is now set to be voted on by the Washington State House, and would then go to Inslee’s desk to be

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Published on
February 7, 2018

Lawmakers from Washington and Oregon, including U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, Ron Wyden, and Jeff Merkley, have come out in opposition to a federal plan that would allow oil and gas drilling off the coast of their states.

Last month, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a plan to expand offshore drilling in nearly all U.S. coastal waters in the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific oceans.

Citing the importance of the coastal waters of the

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Published on
February 1, 2018

State investigators are claiming that Cooke Aquaculture tried to cover up the scale of the August fish farm collapse near Cypress Island, Washington, that sent hundreds of thousands of Atlantic salmon into the Puget Sound. 

The report, released this Tuesday, 30 January by officials at the Washington state departments of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife, and Natural Resources, accuses Cooke of negligence in regard to maintenance of its fish pens

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Published on
January 31, 2018

Three widespread pesticides used in commercial farming in the United States are wreaking havoc on salmon populations, according to a report released by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service.

The insecticides chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon, used on everything from broccoli to cotton to strawberries, are affecting 38 different species of endangered salmon and are causing negative effects on 37 “critical habitat” areas for

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Published on
January 30, 2018

Canada and the United States, the two largest fisheries for Pacific halibut, and members of the six-person International Pacific Halibut Commission were unable to agree on quotas for 2018 season at a meeting on 26 January.

Last year’s season ended on 7 November and the commercial quota was 31.4 million pounds, which was up from just under 30 million pounds in 2016, although experts believe that numbers of young halibut are down. 

Both

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Published on
January 29, 2018

Mussels and other sea life growing on the nets in Cooke Aquaculture Atlantic salmon pens near Cypress Island, Washington, may have been responsible for the collapse of the structure last August, according to a Seattle Times report

The collapse, which released more than 150,000 non-native fish into Puget Sound, has set off a firestorm of criticism toward the Canadian aquaculture firm, resulting in a lawsuit against the company and a bill

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Published on
January 23, 2018

Keyport, a Seattle-based seafood production company, will be moving its corporate headquarters to Edmonds, Washington, in the beginning of February.

Keyport, founded in 1997, is one of the country’s largest distributers of snow, king, and Dungeness crab. It also produces and sell ready-to-eat food such as seafood ravioli, seafood chowders, and seafood macaroni and cheese.

The larger location will allow for flexibility and growth, as it

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