The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office has reached a settlement with the seafood processing business accused of illegally dumping squid ink wastewater into Ventura Harbor.

According to the Ventura County DA, fishing vessels are prohibited from releasing squid ink wastewater, or stick water, inside of state waters and are required to transport the wastewater three nautical miles offshore. Stick water is lethal to fish and marine life due to its high concentration of ammonia. 

California Department of Fish and Wildlife witnessed squid ink being released into Ventura Harbor on Dec. 22, 2021, by Silver Bay Seafoods – California LLC. A second incident was discovered and documented by Ventura County District Attorney’s Office Environmental Specialist Steve Mattern on Jan. 7, 2022. 

“Mattern observed the discharge of dark colored wastewater coming from the Silver Bay Seafoods’ dock hose line in Ventura Harbor,” the Ventura County DA’s Office said in a statement. 

Under the settlement terms, Silver Bay Seafoods will pay $12,500 in penalties to the Ventura County Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund, which will go towards a county fund to benefit environmental programs in the community.  

In addition, Silver Beach Seafoods will be required to pay $12,500 in penalties to the California Department of Fish and Game Preservation Fund.  

They were also fined $5,000 in civil penalties and $6,815.04 for costs related to the investigation, bringing the total settlement to $36,815.04.