PORT ANGELES — Cooke Aquaculture Pacific has filed a lawsut after Washington state canceled a lease for one of its farmed salmon operations in Port Angeles.
Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz ended the company’s net pen lease Dec. 15, citing violations including Styrofoam discharges, a defective anchoring system and operating 500 feet outside of its leasehold area by placing its anchors outside the boundaries set in the agreement.
The farm holds nearly 700,000 Atlantic salmon.
Cooke says it was not in default at the Port Angeles site and that agency had no basis to terminate the lease. It sued Thursday in Clallam County Superior Court.
The company’s net pens at another location, at Cypress Island, collapsed in August and released thousands of non-native Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound.
Franz said in a statement Friday that her team will defends against what she called a “meritless lawsuit.”
Cooke owns and operates eight commercial salmon farms in Washington state. It is the nation’s largest producer of farmed salmon.