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Olympia lawmakers end Atlantic salmon net pen farming

An Atlantic salmon net pen failed failed last year releasing 250,000 Atlantic salmon.
Saturday afternoon net pens holding farm raised Atlantic Salmon between Guemes and Cyprus Islands broke apart.  (Photo: KING)

Olympia lawmakers voted to ban Atlantic salmon net pens from Puget Sound.

Friday the state Senate approved the bill. It now goes to Governor Jay Inslee’s desk for his signature. Inslee spoke in favor of the bill last month.

“What the bill does is it phases out net pens for Atlantic salmon here in Washington state permanently, so as their leases expire, they shall not be renewed,” said St. Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas.

Last August, an Atlantic salmon net pen failed, releasing 250,000 Atlantic salmon into local waters.

Last month, Washington state’s Commissioner of Public Lands terminated Cooke’s lease at the Cypress Island fish farm.

Washington was the only West Coast state to allow the practice.

“So within a handful of years, there will be no net pen aquaculture in Washington state for Atlantic salmon, and that’s a good thing,” said Ranker. “We do not need non-native species being introduced to our natural environment.”

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