WA Supreme Court OKs Cooke Aquaculture steelhead farming

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington state Supreme Court has unanimously upheld permits that will allow Cooke Aquaculture Pacific to farm steelhead trout in net pens in Washington waters. The Seattle Times reports the decision clears the permit hurdle for the international aquaculture giant to change its operations from farming Atlantic salmon to steelhead. That’s good news for Cooke and the Jamestown S’Kllalam tribe, which in 2019 announced a joint venture with Cooke Aquaculture Pacific to rear native steelhead trout. Wild Fish Conservancy director Kurt Beardslee said the fight will continue this year when the state Department of Natural Resources begins a more wide ranging review in determining whether to renew state leases for the tidelands over which the pens are placed.