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 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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Published on
January 16, 2018

The trawling season for Pacific cod in the Bering Sea begins 20 January, although the season will likely draw to a close earlier than mid- to late-March, when the season traditionally ends. 

Analysts expect the season to close for a number of reasons. Quotas have decreased in the Bering Sea by about 15 percent to about 414 million pounds of fish. However, it’s the quota decrease in the Gulf of Alaska that is expected to cause more

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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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