We’re taking on Cooke Aquaculture over sustainability claims
In 2019, I worked inside Cooke Aquaculture in Bingham, Maine as an undercover investigator for Animal Outlook. This was the first-ever undercover exposé of salmon aquaculture in the United States, a cruel and often overlooked industry. While at Cooke, I witnessed firsthand the tortured lives of millions of sentient fish condemned to a brutal existence. These farmed fish suffer in overcrowded, filthy tanks and endure acts of egregious abuse at the hands of workers.
Despite our overwhelming evidence of animal cruelty and neglect, and law enforcement’s conclusion that Cooke’s workplace fostered teaching “bad techniques for handling and euthanasia,” Maine authorities declined to pursue criminal charges.
Consumer protection lawsuit
Recently, Animal Outlook and the Richman Law Group* filed a lawsuit against Cooke in the District of Columbia Superior Court. The lawsuit alleges that Cooke’s claims of “sustainable” aquaculture — including assertions that the company’s salmon products are “naturally raised,” “ecologically sound” and adhere to “optimal” animal welfare standards — deceive and mislead consumers in violation of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
A history of irresponsible practices
Our investigation is far from the first time Cooke has found itself in legal trouble for its irresponsible aquaculture practices which directly contradict its “sustainable” advertising claims. Fines and settlements totaling millions of dollars for violations of laws across multiple states, including the catastrophic release of 250,000 non-native salmon in Washington state, numerous permit violations in Maine and the illegal discharge of pollutants in multiple locations, have plagued Cooke over the past few years.
Cooke’s industrial aquaculture practices are a far cry from the wholesome, responsible image of “sustainable farming” that it actively portrays. Our lawsuit aims to stop Cooke from continuing to mislead and deceive consumers into purchasing its products.
Standing up for fish – together
Together, we can continue standing up for fish and for all farmed animals, continue disrupting factory farming, and continue working toward a kinder future for all. Your donations keep our cameras rolling. Please donate today.
Undercover Investigator, Animal Outlook
*Animal Outlook is represented in the lawsuit by the Richman Law Group, a New York-based law firm focused on consumer protection and civil rights litigation. Through its Animal Welfare and Organic Integrity program, Richman Law Group seeks to hold corporations accountable for actions that can harm consumers, public health, animals, and the environment.