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Washington DNR to work with Canada’s Sustainable Blue in exploring land-based aquaculture

April 11, 2023  By  Nestor Arellano

(Photo: Sustainable Blue)

Canada’s Sustainable Blue will be working with Washington’s Department of Natural Resources to explore land-based aquaculture options for the American state.

The development comes six years after commercial net-pen farming was effectively banned in Seattle following a massive spill of non-native Atlantic salmon into the Salish Sea.

Although the agreement it signed with the Seattle DNR is non-binding, the Canadian aquaculture company said on its Facebook page that the development was “an exciting next step in the Sustainable Blue story.”


“We believe in entering into this agreement, we are testing those people who said it wasn’t possible or that it won’t work, the costs are too high or that it by itself will have environmental impacts that are not being considered,” Hilary Franz, state commissioner of public lands, told the Seattle Times.

On April 7, Seattle Times reported that the state’s DNR signed a non-binding agreement with Nova Scotia-based Atlantic salmon farming company Sustainable Blue to identify lands in in the state that would be ideal for land-based fish farming.

It was Franz who wrote an executive order that stopped net-pen farming in Seattle waters. This came after the state DNR terminated Cooke Aquaculture’s net pen leases after an estimated 260,000 Atlantic salmon were released into the water when the company’s net pen off of Cypress Island collapsed in 2016.


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