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
October 11, 2017

An inspection carried out by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has revealed structural flaws in salmon fish pens owned by Cooke Aquaculture.

In August, a Cooke pen near Cypress Island, Washington collapsed, allowing the escape of hundreds of thousands of farmed non-native Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound.

A recent inspection of Cooke’s facility at Rich Passage, south of Bainbridge Island, revealed a hole in its nets and

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Published on
October 4, 2017

Cooke Aquaculture plans to send a million Atlantic salmon to a farm near Bainbridge Island, Washington, drawing the ire of environmentalists and members of the Lummi Nation who have questioned the company’s competence after one of its fish pens in Puget Sound collapsed in August, resulting in one of the largest fish escapes in the industry’s history.

The decision to allow the move of the fish, which are a non-native species in

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Published on
September 28, 2017

Pike Place Market, famous in Seattle and throughout the United States for its salmon-tossing fishmongers and fresh oysters, crabs, and geoducks, is getting a much-needed USD 74 million (EUR 62.8 million) facelift. 

Created in 1907 on the waterfront in downtown Seattle, the popular Northwest landmark is being renovated for the first time in 40 years. 

Portions of the renovation were already completed this summer with the construction of

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Published on
September 25, 2017

Fish 2.0, a business competition that connects seafood businesses and investors to grow the sustainable seafood sector, announced last week that 40 companies in the seafood industry will present ideas to investors at the Fish 2.0 Innovation Forum taking place in November at Stanford University in California.

The program bears similarities to the hit television show Shark Tank, and the field of contestants was narrowed from a long list of 184

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Published on
September 22, 2017

After many months of negotiations, a California Coastal Commission decision will allow Coast Seafoods, the largest producer of shellfish in California, to continue shellfish farming in Humboldt Bay through 2025. 

The company is based in Eureka, California, and is one of the largest harvesters of clams and oysters in the United States. Initially, the company had lobbied to expand its operation by 260 acres, but that proposal was denied in

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Published on
September 19, 2017

Nearly a month after structural damage allowed hundreds of thousands of Atlantic salmon to escape from a Cooke Aquaculture fish farm on Cypress Island in Washington State, officials estimate that more than 100,000 of the salmon remain in the waters surrounding the island, The Bellingham Herald reported earlier this week. 

Although Washington State encouraged fishermen to catch the salmon after the “spill,” telling them that they

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Published on
September 8, 2017

In early August, the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game announced it would be canceling the remainder of the sport and commercial fishing season for chinook (king) salmon, citing extremely low stocks, the High Country News reported last week. 

The chinook stocks weren’t only low in the Gulf of Alaska; drastically lower numbers were seen off the coast of Washington and Oregon as well. And, in other states such as California, measures

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Published on
September 5, 2017

US President Donald Trump signed a bill last week that will make permanent an agreement between the Dungeness crab fisheries of California, Oregon, and Washington, KUOW reported.

The bill, which was sponsored by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and introduced by her in 2014, received unanimous support from both parties in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

The agreement creates a permanent tri-state fishery management

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Published on
August 8, 2017

An outbreak of vibriosis – a bacterial infection that primarily affects the digestive tract – has sickened 25 people who ate raw oysters in the Seattle area last month. 

Vibriosis causes watery diarrhea, fever, headache, severe abdominal cramping, and vomiting, and can be a very serious condition for those who have compromised immune systems. Symptoms generally last for around a week and, in most cases, medical treatment is not

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Published on
July 26, 2017

Last month, Seattle celebrated its third annual Alaska Herring Week, in which restaurants and grocers throughout the city featured herring-heavy menus and herring-stocked shelves in an attempt to garner local attention for the oft-overlooked fish.

Though herring is one of the largest fisheries in the world and is ubiquitous throughout Northern Europe, there is not much of an appetite for the fish in the Northwest United States, where salmon and

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