BELFAST (AP) – Atlantic Salmon of Maine announced Friday that it has withdrawn its appeal of a contempt of court ruling for violating a judge’s order and stocking young salmon in its pens.

Atlantic Salmon was found in civil contempt May 9 for evading U.S. District Judge Gene Carter’s order restricting the purchase and stocking of smolt through a subsidiary, Island Aquaculture Co.

Carter also ordered Atlantic Salmon to stop putting any more smolt into salmon pens and to pay a $100,000 penalty for each day that any violations occur.

Oyvind Fylling Jenson of Fjord Seafood ASA, the parent company of Atlantic Salmon, said the company is interested in pursuing a cooperative relationship with federal and state authorities.

“In our efforts to pursue and protect our legal rights, Atlantic Salmon of Maine has failed to maintain a cooperative attitude and relationship with state and federal policy makers,” Jenson said. “We are committed to a new approach based on mutual respect and cooperation.”

Carter issued an order Feb. 13 barring Atlantic Salmon from stocking any of its pens at its seven farms until a water quality lawsuit filed two years ago by the United States Public Interest Research Group is resolved.

The suit accuses Atlantic Salmon and another Washington County salmon farming company, Stolt Sea Farm, with violating the Clean Water Act by not possessing permits to discharge pollution into the ocean. Those pollutants, including excess feed, feces and medications, are harming the environment, the suit alleged.

Carter ruled against the fish farms and held a hearing last October to set penalties. No decision on penalties or remedial action has been announced and it’s unclear when the lawsuit will be resolved.

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