This morning, the Superior Court of the State of Washington granted the motion filed by Cooke Aquaculture Pacific, LLC (“Cooke”) against the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) and Hilary Franz, the Commissioner of Public Lands, to extend the deadline to April 14, 2023, to safely harvest steelhead trout and remove equipment at the Rich Passage and Hope Island fish farms in Puget Sound.
Cooke operates its farm sites according to carefully coordinated farm management plans, with employee safety being its top priority. Significant changes in harvest schedules can both increase safety risks for employees and disruptions for customers. The arbitrary timelines originally set forth by DNR were impossible to meet without exposing Cooke employees to dangerous winter working conditions, increasing perceived environmental risks, and causing significant financial harm.
Cooke sought this preliminary injunction to protect its employees and ensure safe working conditions. We are grateful that the Court granted our request as this extension gives our employees the flexibility required in a marine environment to ensure safe working conditions. Cooke can now remove the fish on its original harvest schedule and properly remove our equipment without subjecting employees to unnecessary risk.
Vice President Public Relations
Cooke Aquaculture Inc. / for Cooke Aquaculture Pacific, LLC.
40 Wellington Row, Saint John, NB, Canada E2L 3H3
+1-506-694-4939 office / +1-506-721-1093 mobile