Cooke Aquaculture wins temporary injunction

SEATTLE — Cooke Aquaculture has won an extension of its deadline to harvest steelhead trout from net pens in Puget Sound.

Thurston County Superior Court granted on Friday a preliminary injunction filed by Cooke Aquaculture Pacific, LLC, against the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to extend the deadline to April 14 for the harvest of the fish and removal of equipment from the Rich Passage and Hope Island fish farms.

Notices in November that DNR would not renew two rainbow trout farming leases located at Rich Passage and Hope Island in Puget Sound “arbitrarily and unreasonably demanded that Cooke harvest all fish and remove all farm equipment from the sites within 30 days,” the company said in its announcement in December of its lawsuit.

The company said that the early deadline meant that safety for employees would be at risk,” exposing Cooke employees to dangerous winter working conditions, increasing perceived environmental risks, and causing significant financial harm,” according to a release issued Friday.

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