Cooke fined $8K for violations at Bainbridge Island farm

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — Washington state regulators have fined Cooke Aquaculture $8,000 for water quality violations at its farmed salmon operations off Bainbridge Island.

The violations are unrelated to the company’s Cypress Island net pens, which collapsed in August and released tens of thousands of non-native Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. The state is currently investigating that collapse.

The Department of Ecology on Wednesday said Cooke repeatedly cleaned dirty equipment and sent polluted wastewater into Puget Sound in Rich Passage. It penalized the company for pressure washing equipment over the water, changing boat engine oil over the water and other practices.

The agency says it sent two warning letters and repeatedly asked the company to fix the violations.

Cooke said in an emailed statement that it takes its environmental obligations seriously and has modified its practices to address the issues.