The Washington, DC-based nonprofit Animal Outlook is suing a state of Maine agency that houses its animal welfare program over the agency's alleged failure to apply state animal cruelty laws to fish in Maine’s growing aquaculture industry.

Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is required to ensure the humane and proper treatment of "every living sentient creature” in the state, according to the nonprofit's lawsuit.

But the agency has failed to "address the welfare of animals kept in Maine’s aquaculture facilities," the lawsuit, filed in February in a Maine Superior Court, said.