LUBEC (AP) – Stolt Sea Farm said Thursday it was undecided on whether to appeal a federal court’s restrictions on salmon farming practices in Maine but found cause for optimism in the ruling.

Co-defendant Atlantic Salmon of Maine also was reviewing U.S. District Judge Gene Carter’s decision Wednesday and conferring with legal counsel on a possible appeal.

Carter fined the two aquaculture companies $50,000 each and ordered them to abide by rules that include mandatory periods in which salmon pens must remain fallow and a ban on stocking of European strains of salmon.

“The fine was minimal and I think that reflects our ongoing commitment to work cooperatively within the regulatory framework,” said Shirley Roach-Albert, Stolt vice president for East Coast operations.

Carter imposed the penalties after agreeing with allegations made in an environmental lawsuit that accused the two Norwegian-owned companies of violating the Clean Water Act by not possessing permits to discharge pollution into the ocean.

AP-ES-05-29-03 1938EDT

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