Our mission is to protect the habitat of Puget Sound tidelands from the underregulated expansion of new and intensive shellfish aquaculture methods. These methods were never anticipated when the Shoreline Management Act was passed. They are transforming the natural tideland ecosystems in Puget Sound and are resulting in a fractured shoreline habitat. In South Puget Sound much of this has been done with few if any meaningful shoreline permits and with limited public input. It is exactly what the Shoreline Management Act was intended to prevent.

Get involved and contact your elected officials to let them you do not support aquaculture's industrial transformation of Puget Sound's tidelands.

Governor Inslee:
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

Additional information
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/protectourshore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectOurShoreline

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Canadian environmental activist and documentary filmmaker Twyla Roscovich found dead

Twyla Roscovich: Someone who cared
for First Nation people and native salmon
has passed away.

Environmental activist Twyla Roscovich has passed away. Ms. Roscovich was a passionate environmental activist who produced the film, Salmon Confidential, exposing the impacts of salmon farming on native salmon in Canada. She leaves behind a young daughter. An educational fund through GoFundMe for her daughter has been started. Her passion and creativity will be deeply missed. Read more on Ms. Roscovich by Al Bergstein by clicking here.

Monday, September 18, 2017

"Just farmers" raising non-native invasive Atlantic salmon in the Salish Sea?

From our farms to your waters -
sea lice resistant to pesticides.
From our farms to your table -

is now loose in the Salish Sea,
with attachments included.

As if it wasn't bad enough already.
USA Today writes today: "A surge of parasitic sea lice is disrupting salmon farms around the world."
Cooke Aquaculture says in an associated video clip: "We're farmers. Not fishermen, farmers. And this is absolutely a farming issue." (@ 23 seconds into the video clip)

"Just farmers."

No, you are not farmers. You operate in the public's waters and your operations have moved beyond being merely a threat.
Aquaculture - in any form - is using the public's waters and what is added to those waters spreads throughout the marine ecosystem, including sea lice resistant to pesticides. Move net pens out of open waters to upland and closed facilities where they won't pollute the public's waters, putting native salmon's survival at risk, then maybe you can call yourself a farmer. Until then net pen's growing non-native Atlantic salmon in the Salish Sea have created a clear and present danger to the public's waters and native species in the Salish Sea.

"We'll zap them with lasers."

One thing leads to another. 
As the Daily News noted in an article today, commenting on the problem: "Feeding fish a pesticide with the active ingredient of emamectin benzoate became the tool of choice to control lice, Carr [with the Atlantic Salmon Federation] said. But around 2009, the lice appeared to become resistant to the pesticide, and they have spread globally since." It writes further : "Underwater drones inhabit the other end of the technological spectrum, zapping lice with lasers to kill them". On top of Cooke's callous "non" response to the escape of over 160,000 non-native invasive Atlantic salmon into the Salish Sea, the creation of sea lice spreading throughout the world should be of great concern.

Where does all that food go? Not to a solid waste site.

From the farm to the public's waters: Food waste in net pen aquaculture isn't contained, nor is what the fish don't need on the back end. A - B = fish waste.
In a stark example between the difference of terrestrial farming and aquaculture, one need only look at Cooke Aquaculture's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit application. Submitted in March of 2017 for the new "Site 2" off of Cypress Island, it included a table of monthly food added to the water and the weight of salmon gained. Between January and August (the peak weight and just prior to salmon being removed). Cooke notes there will be 2,670,000 pounds of food thrown into the waters for salmon. During that same time, salmon within the pen gained 1,300,000 pounds. The difference of 1,370,000 pounds (685 tons) of food added and weight gained is not explained, but on the surface, appears to be food not eaten or that "discharged" by the salmon. Unlike terrestrial feedlots, the waste cannot be collected and recycled. Instead, it simply drifts within the marine ecosystem, some settling below, some drifting off-site. From their farm to the public's waters.

Get involved.
Beyond over 100,000 non-native Atlantic salmon roaming throughout the Salish Sea and migrating up freshwater streams and rivers, these net pen operations add far more to the critical marine habitat we have all come to appreciate.  It is time for these operations to be shut down and moved out of the public's waters. Yes, profits for Cooke will be lower, but just because you think you're a farmer does not mean you can do what you want in the public's waters.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Net Pen Aquaculture: It sounded so good in 2013. It's a disaster in 2017.

The 251 mile journey
of a non-native Atlantic salmon.
One of many healthy "couch potatoes"
looking for a river, a mate, and a place to call home.

How non-native Atlantic salmon were allowed to spread over 251 miles in the Salish Sea: A journey which began in 2013. (See links to DOE's " Marine Net Pen Science Forum" at the end, and an image of how far the "couch potatoes" have spread in the Salish Sea above and on WDFW's "catch map".) 
(For WDFW "catch map", see here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/atlantic_catch_map.php)

2013 - NOAA/DOE: We're the government. Trust us. Growing non-native Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound is safe and good for you.

Welcome to the future of farming
non-native Atlantic salmon.

The future is here and it's not good.
In January of 2013, the Department of Ecology's Cedar Bouta opened the "Marine Net Pens Science Forum" telling everyone "we're filming for the future." The future is here and the video of that seminar from 2013 can be looked at to see how NOAA and the Department of Ecology crafted a narrative to promote growing the non-native Atlantic salmon as being safe and profitable. That narrative, crafted to assure everyone this was a safe, sustainable, and profitable proposition, has now resulted in the escape of 160,000, 10 pound, mature, non-native Atlantic salmon, swimming over 251 miles away from the collapsed net pen, beginning to migrate upstream to native salmon habitat. A pen which had begun collapsing in July, one month before the final failure.

NOAA's Laura Hoberecht and Mike Rust:
It's going to be a great future.

Caught in the past with an ecological disaster in the present growing larger as days go by.
Still with us from 2013 are NOAA's Mike Rust who assured us after the collapse of the pen that the 160,000 escaped salmon were nothing more than "couch potatoes" who would not go anywhere (See how far these couch potatoes have traveled on WDFW's catch map). Also still with us from NOAA is Laura Horberecht, recently quoted in The New Yorker as saying "...farming species outside their natal territory is rare - Atlantic salmon being the exception." [Note: Apparently Ms. Hoberecht is not aware of the non-native and invasive Pacific oyster being farmed by shellfish growers in Puget Sound.] (See The New Yorker article here: https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/washington-states-great-salmon-spill-and-the-environmental-perils-of-fish-farming)

Trust us. You want to include net pen farming in your Shoreline Master Programs. It's good for the economy.
Also still with us is the belief by the Department of Ecology, stressed by Mike Cook (when not flirting with Laura Hoberecht) that farming non-native salmon is a water dependent right he and industry should have under the Shoreline Management Act and that local agencies simply aren't capable of understanding the science industry creates. Excluding is not allowed by DOE who believes they know best.

Weekend movies to watch: DOE's 2013 "Science Forum" on growing non-native Atlantic Salmon and why there's nothing to worry about.

Part 1: NIMBY's and NGO's with too much time on their hands make business hard.
DOE's Cedar Bouta introducing Laura Hoberecht who discusses NOAA's promotion of aquaculture. She is followed at 12:26 by the flirtatious Mr. Cook who discusses Icicle's (now Cooke Aquaculture) operations who, at 28:14 discusses industry's opinion on those opposed to farming non-native Atlantic salmon. At 32:42 Bruce Stewart with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission discusses culturing native salmon.

Part 2: NOAA on the best food to feed "couch potatoes" (maybe they needed more fat?)
Jill Noland begins talking about pathogens associated with farmed salmon, focused on minimizing the risk to wild salmon. At 19:50 Mike Rust discusses food used in the farming of salmon with comparisons to chickens and cows. At 39:20 Walt Dickhoff with NOAA (email: walton.w.dickhoff@noaa.gov) speaks to the risks from escapees.

Part 3: Permitting is so hard, but so complete, there is nothing to worry about.

Part 3 begins with Ms. Hoberecht talking about permitting, using a permitting chart for shellfish farms, presented many times by the shellfish industry when complaining about regulatory oversight. At 3:55 Lori LeVander with DOE discusses the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits issued by DOE. At 17:27 John Kerwin with WDFW speaks to permitting and fish health, including (at 27:08) the requirement that non-native Atlantic salmon eggs be marked such that a mature salmon can be traced back to the facility. [Note: It is not known whether this still occurs.] Mr. Kerwin also stresses the risks from large, mature fish escaping, such what just occurred (at 29:27). At 31:20, Jack Rensel (often used as an expert witness by the aquaculture industry in support of their permits) speaks of scientific "modelling" and assumptions to support industrial scale operations and siting.

Part 4: Forum Discussion, Question 1 - Why aren't we growing native salmon instead of non-native Atlantic salmon? Answer: You make more money growing non-native Atlantic salmon, leaving more profits to help influence policy.
Part 4 is an open forum with the first question being why aren't native salmon being farmed, responded to by Mr. Cook on the economic benefits of farming Atlantic salmon.

Get involved. As seen in how well NOAA and DOE crafted their 2013 "scientific forum" to support the growing of non-native Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound, industry has been. Despite assurances from government agencies about there being no risk, an ecological disaster is unfolding. Alaska bans net pen farms. California prohibits the culturing of salmon in its Pacific waters. Oregon has no net pen operations.

Tell your elected officials it is time to remove these industrial scale operations from Washington's waters.

Contact information for state and national elected officials may be found here:
Tell Governor Inslee if he really cares about Puget Sound, now is the time to stand up and tell DOE to allow counties to ban these operations.
Help support those who are focused on protecting the Salish Sea's diversity and health from these operations:
Our Sound, Our Salmon
Wildfish Conservancy
Center for Food Safety:

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Atlantic "couch potato" Salmon Reach the Columbia River: A 271 Mile Journey

Update: 9/8 - WDFW has removed the reported catch of 2 non-native Atlantic salmon from the mouth of the Columbia River. This leaves the longest known distance traveled by the non-native Atlantic salmon at ~169 miles, caught off the west coast of Vancouver Island, near Tofino, British Columbia. Non-native Atlantic salmon continuing to migrate upstream in Washington rivers are indicated by reported catches from the Puyallup, Snohomish, Skagit, and Nooksack Rivers.

NOAA's Michael Rust
on non-native Atlantic Salmon:
"These things [Atlantic salmon] are kind of couch potatoes.."
20 years at NOAA's Northwest Fisheries 
Science Center in Seattle

Aquaculture is not terrestrial farming and farmed salmon are not dairy cows.
For the past 3 weeks NOAA's Michael Rust has been presented as the government's expert researcher who has attempted to minimize the risk of the 160,000 non-native Atlantic salmon which escaped from Cooke Aquaculture's failed net pen. As recently as September 1, Dr. Rust was still being quoted as saying the escaped salmon wouldn't travel far, comparing them to a "dairy cow" in the Serengeti. It's a bad analogy. For Dr. Rust, this incident has also largely dismissed his 2001 technical memorandum he co-authored which said escaped Atlantic salmon "carry very little or no risk" to wild native species. 
Note: This technical memorandum, "The Net-pen SalmonFarming Industry in the Pacific Northwest",  continues to be used by industry in support of expanding operations, most recently in Cooke Aquaculture's attempt to move and expand its operations into the Straight of Juan de Fuca (see reference to document submitted for permit here in 2016).

The 271 mile journey 
of 2 "couch potatoes". 

These are ripe potatoes ready to procreate, not adolescents.
Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife's "Atlantic Salmon Catch Map" shows the invasive non-native Atlantic salmon are now entering freshwater streams and rivers of Washington, and now through the Columbia River, Oregon as well. Seeking to spawn where the endangered native species do. Unlike the failed attempts to introduce Atlantic salmon in the past which are referenced in Dr. Rust's "technical memorandum", consisting of young salmon or eggs, these are mature and well fed salmon with a drive to prorecreate. Unlike the escaped salmon referenced which failed to gain a foothold in the past, which weighed between .5 to 1.5 kg, these salmon are well fed, mature adults weighing over 4.5kg. They are neither "couch potatoes" nor "dairy cattle" in the Serengeti. They are a non-native and invasive species which has been let loose in a marine environment, in large part due to NOAA's drive to increase aquaculture and minimize the very real risks which industrial aquaculture brings with it.

271 miles away, looking for a new home.
From WDFW catch map, showing 
recent catches at the mouth 
of the Columbia River.

Don't know what you've lost till it's gone.
Rushing blindly along in support of an industry who sees Puget Sound's marine environment as little more than a template to generate profits from has resulted in one of the most significant and adverse impacts in recent history. Blinded by "science" created to support agendas with little more than higher profits as the goal, county, state and federal agencies have been led down a path believing aquaculture, of any type, must be good, thereby needing little oversight. Relying on industry's Best Management Practices results in a reliance on the fox in the hen house to police itself. In this case, instead of Cooke stopping production in its known failing net pen, it instead convinced agencies that one more cycle of farmed salmon could be squeezed out of its failing pen. When it failed, Cooke flailed between "the eclipse"  and the "addition of 3 million pounds" of free swimming salmon as the cause. Their original estimate of 6,000 salmon instead was 160,000 mature, non-native Atlantic salmon which escaped. It was Cooke, it was the agencies responsible for regulating them, and it was the public for not fighting hard enough to prevent industrial scale aquaculture from transforming a critical marine ecosystem.  

Get involved, and don't give up. "Sorry Phil. You were right."
Don't believe that the profits of a few corporations are in the state wide interest. Tell your elected officials it is time to remove these industrial scale net pen operations from Washington's waters and stop the expansion of industrial aquaculture. Alison Arthur's editorial in the Port Townsend Leader apologizing to past Jefferson County Commissioner Phil Johnson who opposed DOE forcing the county to allow net pens is something everyone should read.

Contact information for state and national elected officials may be found here:
Tell Governor Inslee if he really cares about Puget Sound, now is the time to stand up and tell DOE to allow counties to ban these operations.
Help support those who are focused on protecting the Salish Sea's diversity and health from these industrial scale operations:
Our Sound, Our Salmon
Wildfish Conservancy
Center for Food Safety:

Monday, September 4, 2017

Non-native Atlantic Salmon Spread Throughout Salish Sea and Up Inland Rivers

Non-native Atlantic Salmon
Migrate to Fresh Water Rivers 
in Washington State

It's quite a spread that's been offered to over 160,000 mature non-native Atlantic salmon. 
The Department of Fish and Wildlife "catch map" shows that contrary to NOAA's Michael Rust that escaped non-native Atlantic salmon being "couch potatoes," and others saying they would not wander far from pens should they escape because they are "used to being fed", these non-native salmon are anything but that. Worse, they are now migrating up rivers in Washington into habitat used by native salmon, putting both habitat at risk and young native salmon at risk through being consumed by the non-native Atlantic salmon. These salmon are mature and ready to spawn.

"You look in pretty good shape to me."
"I've been fed omega 3's, antibiotics, 
and swam laps in the pen regularly."
And, they're mature, heading up Washington rivers.

Bad timing for fish to escape
People have claimed there is little to worry about habitat displacement as attempts to plant these non-native salmon in the past have failed, with no populations taking hold. The difference is in the past, young salmon were used, not mature salmon, ready to spawn, like those which escaped from the net pen on August 19. Those which escaped are laden with eggs, looking for a place to reproduce. As seen from the area they have spread out over the past 2 weeks, they are anything but "couch potatoes". These have become an invasive species, due directly to mis-management and to a lack of oversight by all agencies.

Get involved
Tell your elected officials it is time to remove these industrial scale operations from Washington's waters. The risk is not "presumptive", it is real.
Contact information for state and national elected officials may be found here:
Tell Governor Inslee if he really cares about Puget Sound, now is the time to stand up.
Help support those who are focused on protecting the Salish Sea's diversity and health from these operations and lack of regulatory oversight:
Our Sound, Our Salmon
Wildfish Conservancy
Center for Food Safety:

Monday, August 28, 2017

Salmon Net Pen Failure: Non-native Atlantic salmon are reported to have spread over an area of 60 miles

Timing is everything. Attend a meeting on why net pens in the Straight of Juan de Fuca is a bad idea.
Sequim Transit Center 190 W. Cedar Street
Kurt Beardslee - Executive Director Wild Fish Conservancy 
Chris Wilke- Executive Director Puget Soundkeeper Alliance 

"Science" said they would stay
closed to home and wait to be fed.

We're free and we never liked that stuff you were feeding us to make us look pink so we are going elsewhere.
The Seattle Times writes on August 28 the Department of Fish and Wildlife are reporting non-native Atlantic salmon, released from failed net pens off of Cypress Island, have spread over a 60 mile area. This completely destroys any belief in escaped salmon staying close to home, waiting to be fed. Instead, this non-native salmon is now spreading throughout the Salish Sea.

It was the eclipse! No, wait, sorry.
Saturn was in the house of Leo.
Or was it Cancer?
Meanwhile, while astrological charts are being read,
non-native Atlantic salmon are
spreading throughout the Salish Sea.

Caught in a gross understatement (to be kind) and a blatant mis-representation of the failure.
In addition, the initial reports of only 4 thousand fish having escaped has also been shown to be a gross understatement. To date, the Lummi Tribe alone has reported its commercial fisherman have netted over 200,000 pounds of Atlantic salmon, or an estimated 20,000 fish. This total does not include the unlimited amount the public has been allowed to catch or what other commercial fisherman may have caught. Or those who have found better food elsewhere.

They'll only eat processed food. Yum.
Of course when that food isn't 
being fed to them,
they eat other things.
Farmed and dangerous (thank you Scientific America)
Washington's Department of Natural Resources, who leases the bedlands below the pens to Cooke and is in part responsible for oversight of this operation, has notified Cooke their pen failure and subsequent release of the non-native Atlantic salmon into Washington's marine habitat (and now likely Canada's) has put Cooke in default of their lease agreement. They should put them to bed. The threat posed by the escaped salmon on native salmon is real, whether it be from consuming native smolt to spreading sea lice to spreading disease. Scientific America writes on the escape and notes a dearth of research, and many assumptions.

No worries. We're with the government and have formed an incident command response team to deal with our lack of prior oversight.
August 24, the various agencies responsible held a conference call to try and figure out what to do. As noted in the notes from the meeting, it was felt it would be a good idea to form a committee of various agencies responsible for oversight. Despite years of assurance that net pen farming was being regulated and that failures such as this were unlikely, they note:
"Much concern was expressed yesterday about the lack clarity as to which agency is responsible for addressing and managing the response of the incident." 
Get involved and tell Governor Inslee and your elected officials it's time to remove these industrial operations from Puget Sound's waters.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Salmon Net Pen Failure: Is this what regulatory oversight is? If so, all net pens should be closed down.

"DNR, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Department of Ecology 
are working on a coordinated response Friday in dealing with the fish emergency."
August 25, KING-5, 6 days after the failure.

(from KING-5)

WDFW action plan: Let the public go fishing! 
To date, the most meaningful attempt at a response has been for WDFW to let the public clean up the mess and tell fishermen to go catch as many as they can. But, be sure you have a license. Is that realistic? 

We can't count the fish. It's too dangerous!
(from KING-5)

DNR: You are in default. But we don't know by how much yet.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) who leases the bedlands below to Cooke has filed a notice of default for releasing the non-native Atlantic salmon. A number ranging from a few thousand to over 305,000, and almost week later, a number still not known because of the danger from the twisted metal. What that means for the future of the farm off of Cypress Island is not known. Yet.

I'm not a security guard. I just monitor things.
How closely was DOE monitoring this?

DOE: "Commercial net pens have greatly improved in the last 20 year"
"Ecology will continue to monitor the science"
"Ecology said the county [Jefferson] could not prohibit net pens because a negative environmental impact could not be proven."
The Department of Ecology, responsible for overseeing net pen aquaculture in Washington, appears to  silent. They do, of course, have a web page devoted to explaining how raising non-native Atlantic salmon good for Puget Sound, pointing out how they will monitor these farms. That the failure occurred puts in question just what "monitoring" means. That one week later they are still working on a response puts in question why they are responsible for telling counties how to develop regulations for these operations, and more significantly, telling counties they cannot ban net pens (Peninsula Daily News in article discussing their Shoreline Management Program).

Get involved. Help support Our Sound, Our Salmon and tell Governor Inslee it is time to close these operations down.
Oregon, California, and Alaska have banned net pens. Washington should not be allowed to be the only state which does. Support Our Sound, Our Salmon and tell Governor Inslee it's time to tell Cooke to go elsewhere and that industrial scale aquaculture is too much of a risk to Puget Sound. 

Governor Inslee: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Cooke's Net Pen Failure: An Eclipse of the Facts

Time for Cooke to go. 
(See Public Notice for expansion below)
(Image from http://www.deepzoom.com/#)

If Cooke Aquaculture's net pens fail in the protected area around Cypress Island in a 3.5 knot current, who believes they won't fail in the Strait of Juan de Fuca where currents are no slower and they are exposed to storms? It's time for Cooke to shut these operations down and for agencies to stop the expansion of industrial aquaculture. (See Public Notice below)

Only the facts are being eclipsed
for the cause of this failure.

NOTICE OF APPLICATION AND PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, pursuant to Section 26.10.410 & 430 CCC, that the Clallam County Department of Community Development has scheduled a public hearing before the Clallam County Hearings Examiner for September 7, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. in Room 160 of the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 East Fourth Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362. The purpose of the hearing is to review public testimony regarding the Shoreline Substantial Permit for the Cooke Aquaculture Pacific LLC (CAP) proposal to move their existing Atlantic salmon net pen operation from within Port Angeles Harbor (Ediz Hook) to an open water area in the Strait of Juan de Fuca that is located over 1.5 miles offshore and 3.8 miles east of terminus of Ediz Hook: Proposal: (SHR 2016-00002) The proposal would be comprised of fourteen (14) floating high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipe circular net pens, which are designed for open water conditions. Each net pen will be 126 feet in diameter, 45 feet deep, and in approximately 100 foot deep water. The proposal also includes a 40 foot wide by 100 foot long feed barge. The height of the feed barge will be approximately 19 feet above the water level when empty and 14 feet when is fully loaded with about 350 tons of fish feed. The pens would be comprised of two rows of 7 pens each with a feed barge at the eastern end of the array. Each of the net pens and the feed barge would be located 72 feet apart from each other, and would be held in place by up to sixty 4,000 to 8,000 mooring anchor, anchor lines, chains, and hardware. This proposal would encompass 9.7 acres of water surface area and require a 52 acre Aquatic lease from the WA State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).Location of the Proposal: The CAP new aquaculture net pen facility is proposed to be located approximately 3.8 miles east of Ediz Hook, 1.8 miles north of Morse Creek, and approximately 1.5 miles north of Green Point, within Section 10, Township 30 North, Range 5 West, W.M. Information & Studies Submitted: A Joint Aquatic Resource Application (JARPA) with attachments, SEPA Environmental Checklist with attachments, Biological Evaluation, Current and Wave Report prepared by RPS Evans-Hamilton, Sediment Report prepared by RPS Evans-Hamilton, Mooring Analysis Report – Grid System prepared by Aqua Knowledge, and Visual Analysis Report (January 2016) were submitted with the application. Permits Required & Studies Submitted: Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Waste Discharge Permit and Coastal Zone Management Compliance Determination through the Washington Department of Ecology; Fin Fish Aquaculture Permit, Fin Fish Transport Permit, and Aquatic Farm Registration through Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Aquatic Use Authorization through DNR; Private Aids to Navigation with the United States Coast Guard; and Section 10 Permit Authorization with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will include ESA Section 7 Consultation with National Marine Fisheries Services and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA): Clallam County is lead agency and a SEPA environmental checklist (ECL 2016-03) has been submitted for the proposal. After review of the completed environmental checklist, the SEPA Memo dated July 5, 2017, and other information on file with the agency, the Clallam County Responsible Official has determined that a Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS) should be issued for this proposal. The MDNS for this proposal was issued July 6, 2017, and the comment period for this threshold determination ends on July 24, 2017. Unless the Responsible Official withdraws the threshold determination pursuant to WAC 197-11-340(3)(a), the threshold determination shall be final at the end of the comment period. The Hearing Examiner will consider the adequacy of the Threshold Determination at the open record public hearing. Public hearing and comment deadlines: Any interested person may submit written or oral comments on the proposal and the threshold determination of a MDNS prior to the close of the open record hearing. The staff report will be available seven days before the hearing. Any person may also submit a written request to DCD to receive a notice of the decision once it is made. The application and above referenced material is available at DCD On-Line Permit System web site or at our offices at 223 E. 4th St., Suite 5, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Please contact Greg Ballard, Project Planner at (360) 565-2616, or by email at gballard@co.clallam.wa.us if you have any questions. Pub: July 9, 16, 2017 Legal No.766276

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A New Excuse for Aquaculture's Failures: The Eclipse

"Look! Up in the sky!"
Don't let politics blind you to the truth.

Trust us. Or not. We don't really care.
Reaching a level which reflects the current state of politics, Cooke Aquaculture blames Sunday's net pen failure releasing non-native Atlantic salmon on Monday's eclipse. Cooke states the pen, holding over 3 million pounds and an estimated 305,000 salmon, failed due to “exceptionally high tides and currents coinciding with this week’s solar eclipse”.

"Look! Up in the sky! See that big yellow thing! I'll make it dark!"
Apparently blinded from looking into the sun, reporters have accepted Cooke's excuse. Worse, so too have agencies responsible for ensuring that this non-native species will not escape into Washington's waters where disease, sea lice, and their appetite for native species threatens native salmon.
(Read Seattle Times article by clicking here)

How did he know? Science.

How were we to know? Look at a tide chart.
Get involved. This excuse is nothing more than an attempt to tamp down the real threat which this level of industrial aquaculture presents to Puget Sound and Washington's marine waters, seen as a palate for profits by corporations. Plans for expansion are in gear with this same operator proposing a large farm in the Straight of Juan de Fuca. If they cannot prevent pen failures due to a high tide predicted in advance for years they should not be allowed to operate in Washington's waters. Employees of agencies who believe it should be fired.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Thurston County is Targeted By Geoduck Farmers

Better Duck if you live in Thurston County 
The latest county to be targeted for expansion by geoduck farmers is Thurston County. Located in south Puget Sound, Thurston County has seen a number of proposed or actual applications for geoduck farms in the south Puget Sound area. The most recent is an expansion of operations by Greg Reub, currently employed by Eco Analysts, Inc. Previous employment history of Mr. Reub included Environ (now part of Ramboll), a firm who performed numerous studies on geoduck aquaculture, intended to show impacts were not significant. Studies still quoted today and studies which Mr. Reub benefits from directly. [A public hearing on Mr. Reub's proposal will be held September 26. To be put onto the notification list, contact Leah Davis at davisle@co.thurston.wa.us]
(In addition to Mr. Reub, Dr. Fisher and Marlene Meaders were also past employees of Environ, the latter two co-authoring numerous papers on geoduck farming and the application of the herbicide imazamox in Willapa Bay. Dr. Fisher, as with Mr. Reub, benefits directly from positive outcomes of papers he authored on geoduck farming as he too operates a geoduck farm, close to that currently operated by Mr. Reub and close to where Mr. Reub proposes to expand his operations. Dr. Fisher, after leaving Environ, worked for the National Marine Fisheries Services - NMFS - who provided Biological Opinions to the Army Corps on their proposed Nationwide Permits covering aquaculture.)
An existing navigational hazard,
with another proposed.

Showing some mussel
In addition to Mr. Reub's proposed expansion, Chelsea Sea Farms is also proposing a 10 acre operation in Gallagher Cove near where Taylor Shellfish is planning on placing 58 rafts in Totten Inlet. At appeals and hearings for the Taylor Shellfish proposal there was no mention of any geoduck operation so close and what the cumulative impacts may be from the two operations may be, not to mention Mr. Reub's proposed expansion just north. The common refrain from attorneys at the hearings and appeals was that any expansion of aquaculture was simply "conjecture" and should not be considered. Therefor, Thurston County did not consider any of it and simply relied on an overwhelmed staff and papers, including those authored by Dr. Fisher and Mr. Reub.

One word - plastics
The Graduate could not have had a more applicable scene when Dustin Hoffman was told by Mr. McQuire what to do with his life after graduation: "I just want to say one word to you. Just one word....Plastics. There's a great future in plastics." Who would have thought plastics covering Puget Sound's intertidal tidelands would have been the future that unfolded.

Get involved. You will make a difference for the future generations.
The shellfish industry has been for years. Lobbying, free shellfish fests, donations to non-profits, and authors of papers who have clear conflicts of interest have all resulted in an impending expansion throughout Puget Sound and Willapa Bay. You can help by donating to the following:

Consumers for Food Safety [click here]
Tell your elected officials enough is enough.
Governor Inslee: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
Legislative and Congressional contacts:
Thurston County Commissioners