Washington state Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz is contesting Canada-based Cooke Aquaculture's contention that it would be impossible and potentially dangerous for company staff to harvest its remaining fish pens in Washington state by Jan. 14 and completely remove all equipment by April.

Franz, in a response submitted in tandem with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to a Washington Superior Court on Dec. 29, said "Cooke's allegations that they cannot timely remove the fish due to concerns of worker safety and environmental harm also appear to be premised on Cooke wanting more time to harvest the fish in a way that is more economically profitable for Cooke."