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:
http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message
Legislative and Congressional contacts:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

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



Monday, January 15, 2018

Problems for a little fish and Chesapeake Bay just got a lot bigger: Cooke Aquaculture is after you.

Vertical integration: Good for profits, 
bad for Menhaden and Chesapeake Bay.

Cooke Aquaculture - coming after 
a forage fish near you with 
ships bigger and better than ever.

Dust to Dust
150 tons of fish, much reduced to pellets...
...with much fed to salmon in net pens...
.
..with just the right amount of coloring added...
...to make them look like real fish.

One of two new ships built,
bigger and faster...
...to harvest Menhaden to support farmed salmon.

Menhaden - The filter feeders 
of Chesapeake Bay filtering...
...or running from Cooke Aquaculture?

Where Omega Protein's 
sets for Menhaden are taking place (2011).
Is it any wonder Chesapeake Bay
has an overabundance of plankton
when its most prolific filter feeders
are being stripped from it? 

Problems for a little fish and Chesapeake Bay
are now a lot bigger - just to feed farmed salmon. 



Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cooke Aquaculture and Atlantic Salmon: Cooke's Shiny Shoes are in Town for Meetings with Politicians - While another of their pens collapses.

Get involved and meet the politicians. Cooke is.
And they don't get why they and Atlantic salmon are a problem.
(See below for information on January 19 meeting.)
(See below for unfolding net pen collapse in Canada.)
[Net pen collapse story updated 1/12.]

Turn on the political machine - promise them anything.
Executives from Cooke Aquaculture have descended on Olympia to confront politicians and agencies about proposed legislation and lease cancellations which are aimed at removing these invasive  nonnative Atlantic salmon from Puget Sound. Along with their shiny shoes they have brought their lobbyists and have placed an advertisement on Craigslist, both promoting their business and looking for a Public Relations employee who is capable of fostering political and societal relationships.
Eclipse? No, negligence on Cooke's part
in not maintaining their facility.
(see below for "Net Pen Collapse - Part 2")

What Best Management Practices and Science will Get You
Four months ago Cooke blamed the "eclipse" on their net pen failure. A structure they knew was failing when they applied for a permit to replace it in early 2017. A structure which began to collapse in July. A structure which they initially claimed only let loose a few thousand Atlantic salmon, which in reality turned out to be over 160,000. 160,000 salmon they claimed - based on "science" - would not leave the pen area and quickly die off, but which over four months later are being caught over 50 miles up the Skagit River, healthy, and most certainly not dead. So much for BMP and science created to support this industry.

Put on your darned glasses and 
see this company for what it really is.
Profits are their priority.

But They Like us on the East Coast - Really? Who do you talk to?
Cooke Aquaculture still cannot fathom why their operations are such an issue to Washington State. Testimony before the Senate Committee clearly showed a prioritization of their profits over the threat to native salmon their operations present. Cooke even went so far as to testify how wonderful they were on the east coast, knowing full well they are not liked. Permit applications have resulted in these comments from their "friends": pesticides kill lobsters; antibiotics used spread through the marine ecosystem; property values are decreased; dead zones are created under their pens; resources are wasted due to deaths of salmon; a lack of "good citizenship"; and, Cooke plead guilty to illegally dumping Cypermethrin pesticide, killing thousands of lobsters (read article on how "unliked" Cooke is here). Cooke certainly has friends, those who are recipients of token donations to fund various social causes, but that only serves to mask the reality of who Cooke is.

"Give us $25 million and we'll 
build a processing plant - 300+ jobs"
Never mind.

Cooke: We had our fingers crossed when we made that promise. Thanks for the money.
Cooke is a company who will say anything to get what it wants. In 2012 Nova Scotia agreed to lend Cooke Aquaculture $25 million. With those funds, Cooke said they would build a processing plant and provide 300+ jobs. $18 million later, Cooke abandoned those plans and nobody seems to sure of just where that $18 million went to.

Another Cooke net pen bites the dust.
Trust us. Really?

January 11: Another Cooke Aquaculture pen collapses.
Now, unfolding on Canada's east coast is another net pen collapse and what appears to be another series of "there there, it's okay, you just go back to bed" statements from Cooke and the government. After a series of storms blew through the area, canopy predator netting was ripped loose; anchor lines broke; structures collapsed; and fish have likely escaped.


Get involved and plan on attending the January 19 meeting detailed below. This is a company whose past actions show its true face. They need to go.
We are (gratefully) forwarding this post from NetPen Aquaculture-Washington state (https://www.facebook.com/netpenaquaculture/:
ATLANTIC SALMON NET PEN MEETING with Washington's 24th District Senator Kevin Van De Wege & Representative Mike Chapman.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2018 4-5 PM Sequim City Transit Center, 190 W Cedar St., Sequim, WA 98382
The purpose of the meeting is to hear about aquaculture bill language being discussed in the Legislature.
The meeting will be from 4 - 5 PM at the Sequim City Transit Center, 190 West Cedar Street between Sequim-Dungeness Avenue and 2nd Street. Doors will open at 3:30 PM.
Currently there are three different bills, 1 in the Senate and 2 in the House, all focusing on 'Atlantic Salmon' net pens.
SB 6086 (sponsored by Rankin, Rolfes, Van De Wege, et al.) - "AN ACT Relating to protecting the state's marine waters from the release of nonnative finfish from marine finfish aquaculture sites." http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/…/Bil…/Senate%20Bills/6086.pdf
HB 2418 (sponsored by Lytton, Chapman, et al.) - "AN ACT Relating to reducing impacts of nonnative finfish aquaculture by delaying construction of new nonnative finfish aquaculture facilities until thorough study, including structural analysis of existing facilities, is complete." http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/…/Bills/House%20Bills/2418.pdf
HB 2260 (sponsored by MacEwen, Walsh, et al. - of the 19th District.) - "AN ACT Relating to prohibiting the spawning, incubation, and cultivation of Atlantic salmon in the marine waters regulated by the state." http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/.../House%20Bills/2260.pdf.
The Senate Bill 6086 language would phase-out the pens as their leases expire.
The House Bill 2418 first asks for more study and for the leaseholder to show there is no environmental harm.
The House Bill 2260 is a prohibition on the species of Atlantic Salmon being used in aquaculture in Washington.
Senator VanDeWege and Representative Chapman are both concerned about the impacts of the Atlantic salmon net pens to the environment.
This meeting is a good chance for our legislators to explain the differences in the bills and for them to hear from us.

CWI submitted these comments yesterday:

Bottom line: we *don't* need more study, we *don't* need more (ineffective and expensive) agency ‘monitoring’ or 'consideration' of net pens. Science clearly tells us, and we KNOW these industrial aquaculture activities are lethal to our coastal systems and must NOT continue. We further know that that there is a win­-win alternative: UPLAND CONTAINED systems. If it costs the industry a bit more to develop the technology so be it. The tax payers of Washington state have invested enormous public dollars to restoring and preserving our native ecosystem. Please be the leaders you were elected to be, stand up, as have Alaska, Oregon and California and immediately limit net pen to upland contained facility ONLY. Legislators should update BILL 6086-and all other bills proposed- to ban net pens from Washington shorelines and require that these facilities be converted to closed system upland aquaculture facilities effective NOW.
See:http://www.coastalwatershedinstitute.org/resources_90_35518…


Anne Shaffer, PhD
Coastal Watershed Institute
P.O.Box 266
Port Angeles, Washington 98362

"It's life.For heaven's sake-lean forward"

Thursday, December 14, 2017

DOE Can't Have it Both Ways - You Represent Citizens Who Don't Want Net Pens

[Update 12/14 4:10PM - Click here to submit comments to Clallam County on their proposal to ban salmon net pens through their Shoreline Master Program Update. Emphasize local interests are more important than those of Canadian based Cooke Aquaculture, the only company with these operations. If Cooke wishes to continue, upland facilities can be used.]

DOE Tim Gates telling Mason County
SMP Updates are the result of 
a "community conversation" asking
"what do you want your community to look like." 

Whose local interests does DOE really care about?
At a meeting where Mason County adopted its Shoreline Master Program Update, the Department of Ecology's Tim Gates stood before the Commissioners, speaking for DOE, to tell them what a Shoreline Master Program was supposed to represent. In his presentation, he stressed again and again how this was the result of a "community conversation" reflecting what citizens wanted their "community to look like". Mr. Gates went further, telling Commissioners SMP Updates are "always flavored by local interests."

Local citizens' expressed clearly and strongly:
We don't want this.
DOE response? Too bad. 
Canadian based Cooke Aquaculture does.

Canada's Cooke Aquaculture is not a local Clallam County citizen
Apparently, the local interests which DOE cares about are not the local citizens, those citizens paying taxes, living in the counties adapting SMP Updates, and who elect government representatives to reflect their interest; citizens who turned out in overwhelming numbers to testify against open pen Atlantic salmon farming. Instead, local interests appear to be controlled by a Canadian company called Cooke Aquaculture. As reported in the Peninsula Daily News:
Ecology Regional Shoreline Planner Michelle McConnell told commissioners that Clallam County’s draft shoreline plan would likely be rejected by Ecology if it banned in-water net pen aquaculture. [Read Peninsula Daily News article by clicking here]
"You'll like this. It was baked in an oven
controlled by Washington laws."
No, we don't like it and it's time to change.

Get involved - get the cake out of this oven and start over.
For too long agencies have simply believed aquaculture is "baked in" to Washington's regulations and have allowed an exponential increase in industrial activities to take place in Washington's public waters. Those regulations have burned the public's cake. Washington's public waters are not a blank slate for foreign or local corporations to generate profits from. These are public waters to be preserved, protected, and restored for the benefit of all citizens. Not to generate profits for a few corporations, local or foreign. Tell your local officials it's time to cancel Cooke's leases and time to get strong regulatory oversight in place. Your grandchildren will thank you.

Contact your elected officials and tell them preserving Washington's public waters are more important than profits of a few corporations:
Elected representatives:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November 29-30: Upland Salmon Farming in Closed Pens Workshop

A workshop on salmon farming in closed pens will be held in Vancouver, BC on November 29 and 30. Participants include Atlantic Sapphire's Johan Andreassen whose product was recently picked up by Portland based New Seasons Market. Grown in closed Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) these enclosed facilities eliminate the risks to native salmon which facilities such as those operated by Cooke Aquaculture create. It is the only means by which Atlantic salmon achieve Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch "Green" "Best Choice" rating.

Support Truly Sustainable Aquaculture

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat Year End Fund Raising

The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat has released its year end fund raising letter. It reviews 2017's activities and what it looks forward to in 2018.

Dear Members,

It is hard to believe that our Coalition to Protect Puget Sound is now being joined by National Organizations like the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Biological Diversity who are speaking out about the degradation of Puget Sound and Willapa Bay/Grays Harbor by the shellfish industry.  In addition, Wild Fish Conservancy and the Sierra Club are now taking the lead on demanding the end of finfish Atlantic salmon net pens in Washington State waters. Many of us can remember when we were laughed at and excluded as we presented the threats of industrial shellfish and finfish aquaculture to local, state and Federal Agencies--now the aquaculture industry is no longer laughing.

The following lists our accomplishments as we continue to move forward:
1.  We won the Washington State Court of Appeals decision that stopped the 5 acre Detienne geoduck operation in Henderson Bay/Pierce County.  This case is now published, is precedent setting and is also being used by other environmental groups trying to protect eelgrass and forage fish.

2.  By next spring, our Coalition lawsuit against the Army Corps for ignoring destructive cumulative impacts from shellfish aquaculture will be heard in Federal Court. After many years of working with the Center for Food Safety, we are excited that they have also sued the Army Corps for the adverse effects of shellfish aquaculture--especially on endangered species. Our litigation will be heard at the same time. To thank them for their invaluable pro-bono help, we encourage you to sign up with them as follows:

If you would like to learn more about CFS and stay updated on the work CFS is doing on shellfish aquaculture and other issues, it is free to sign up!


3.  We have been told that nearly 1,000 comment letters opposing another Imidacloprid spray in Willapa Bay have been received by the Dept. of Ecology. Individuals, chefs and large national organizations stepped up after our years of alerting everyone of the devastation by the shellfish industry. This important coastal estuary has endured the shellfish industry spraying some form of pesticides directly in the water for over 40 years. Charts clearly show the corresponding plummeting of Chinook Salmon, ESA listed green sturgeon, ESA listed marbled murrelet, herring spawning and eelgrass beds.

4.  Bainbridge Island and Pierce County continue their battle with the Department of Ecology to protect their shorelines with comprehensive aquaculture regulations in the Shoreline Master Program updates. 

5. Our members have turned out to: 
 a.. Demand and see Jill Guernsey no longer the lawyer for the Pierce County Shorelines after reporting her conflict of interest of taking a donation from the shellfish industry's attorney for her Gig Harbor run for mayor at the same time she was representing Pierce County
 b.  Demand and see Dr. Glen VanBlaricom no longer presenting SeaGrant science after reporting his biased testimony at the Shoreline Hearings Board on behalf of the shellfish industry
 c.  Demand and see the Washington State Executive Ethics Board violation order against Kim Patten, who was the WSU scientist providing the "no harm" supporting science that has been used to issue pesticide spray permits for the shellfish industry in Willapa Bay/Grays Harbor for decades
 d.  Demand and see the first shellfish industry EIS required for the Burley Lagoon/Pierce County 25 acre geoduck application by Taylor Shellfish
We are currently working on other actions that will also protect our communities and we will announce these as soon as we are able to. Just know that we continue to move forward and greatly appreciate your time, donations and kind thoughts.  If you are making any year end donations, please keep us in mind as we will use those funds wisely.

Tax deductible donations can be sent to:  The Coalition To Protect Puget Sound Habitat
                                    P O Box 233, Burley, WA.   98322

Wishing all of you the very best during this Holiday Season!

Sincerely,
Laura Hendricks
(253) 509-4987

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Senator Rankor Introduces a Bill to End Atlantic Salmon Farming in Puget Sound

Time for nonnative salmon and Cooke to go.

Wednesday: Cooke Aquaculture representatives and lobbyist testifies before the House Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee, telling legislators why they like themselves.
(See testimony of DNR, DOE, WDFW, Lummi Chairman Julius, and Cooke representatives/lobbyist  here: https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017111058)
Thursday: Washington State Senator Rankor announces he will introduce legislation to end Atlantic salmon farming in Washington.
(Read Seattle Times article here: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/washington-state-senator-says-hell-file-bill-to-ban-atlantic-salmon-farming/)

Not satisfied with Cooke Aquaculture presenting themselves as fishermen/farmers focused on NOAA talking points of feeding the world through aquaculture and why they are respected in the northeast, Senator Rankor has agreed with Washington citizens: Cooke Aquaculture and Atlantic salmon have no place in Washington. Despite a glowing presentation before the House Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee highlighting who Cooke Aquaculture is, it was not enough to stop Senator Rankor from announcing that he was moving forward with introducing legislation which would ban these operations growing nonnative invasive Atlantic salmon in Washington's waters.

As pointed out in the article, Cooke Aquaculture is a large foreign company and will use its lobbying strengths to influence legislators and attorneys to fight attempts to limit its operations. After all, their bank loan is dependent on these leases and, as they say, it's all about the money.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pesticides in Willapa Bay: It's not about bees. It's about Willapa Bay's aquatic ecosystem and native marine invertebrates, the very foundation of the food chain.

Comments due November 1

Reminder: Comments on the proposal to apply the neurotoxic pesticide Imidacloprid to shellfish beds in Willapa Bay are due by November 1. 
You may submit comments here: http://ws.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=aefUM
(Alternatively, you may say you support the comment letter from the Coastal Watershed Institute found here: https://commentinput.com/attachments/projectID_1001/10063/merged//12829.pdf)
(Or, you may say you support the comment letter from Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, found on The Coastodian's site, herehttps://coastodian.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/comment-letter-oyster-imidacloprid-proposal-SEIS-2017_updated-1.pdf)

Willapa Bay is not a template for shellfish growers to profit from. It's time for them to step back.

Anthropogenic Extinction
of a Native Oyster



Native oyster, native habitat, gone.
In the mid-1800's one of the great anthropogenic acts of extinction began in Willapa Bay. An estimated 27% of Willapa Bay was originally covered with native Olympia oyster. By 1920 that population, whose beds were estimated to have been as dense as 116 oysters per square meter, were all but gone, a direct result of overharvesting. After the shellfish industry first stripped the more easily harvested intertidal and low subtidal areas, they then convinced politicians in 1899 they should be allowed to dredge the remaining subtidal population. Shortly after that point, the native population of Olympia oyster, likely genetically distinct to Willapa Bay, were all but gone. Thanks to little more than the goal of short sighted profits by the shellfish industry.

Bring in the nonnatives, spray the invasives (as defined by the shellfish industry)
Left with nothing more than empty tidelands the shellfish growers, instead of restoring the native Olympia oyster, attempted to introduce the nonnative Eastern oyster. Shipped by rail and packed in Spartina, it was a failure after mass die-offs. What didn't die-off was Spartina. Considered a beneficial plant on the east coast because of its ability to stabilize soils in the nearshore environment and habitat it provided, shellfish growers considered it an invasive species. Through political lobbying they were able to get approved one of the largest herbicidal spraying operations in a marine environment. While successful in minimizing Spartina, its sediment retention properties were lost, resulting in dispersal of sediments previously held in place throughout Willapa Bay.

If at first you don't succeed - try again. And strip ownership of tidelands from those who made it succeed.
After the failure of the Eastern oyster, Willapa Bay shellfish growers turned to the nonnative Japanese Pacific oyster.  Growers from Japan had been successfully importing and growing the Pacific oyster privately owned tidelands since 1905. Until "passage by a State Legislature of a law (1922) restricting the ownership of lands by aliens, [when] the Japanese Company was forced out of business" (from "The Immigrant Oyster", a history of how the nonnative Pacific oyster came to be introduced and cultured in Washington's waters). At that point, after the failure of the Eastern oyster, the nonnative Pacific oyster was what was grown. 

Bring in the nonnatives, spray the invasives. Part 2.
Along with the nonnative Pacific oyster imported from Japan, also came the nonnative Japanese eelgrass. As with Spartina, in Japan this species of eelgrass is considered beneficial in the habitat and food provided to aquatic and avian species. But, as with Spartina, shellfish growers here considered it to be a "noxious weed." Shellfish growers successfully convinced the Noxious Weed Board to classify Japanese eelgrass as a "noxious weed" which in turn led to approval spraying Imazamox, an herbicide, into Willapa Bay in order to more easily grow nonnative Manila clams and nonnative Pacific oysters.

Kill off the natives with pesticides so nonnatives can grow.
Now, shellfish growers believe it is time to remove a native species, the burrowing shrimp. Growers claim the burrowing shrimp is spreading throughout the bay, making their tidelands too soft to grow nonnative shellfish on. And with the removal of the burrowing shrimp, any other aquatic invertebrate in the area, making up the very base of the food chain in Willapa Bay. The shellfish growers' response? It helps the population to kill them off. (Dick Sheldon, October 10, before the Department of Ecology) 

Willapa Bay needs a new chef. It's not a "chemical soup" and not a profit template.
It's time for shellfish growers to be told to step aside. Their short sighted actions have done little more than transform what had been a bay whose tidelands were populated with native Olympia oysters in densities unimaginable today. Their short sighted actions have introduced multiple nonnative species into a thriving ecosystem which has done nothing more than create what Washington's attorney general described as "the chemical soup that was the bay." A chemical soup created by chefs who call themselves shellfish growers. 

Get involved. Industrial aquaculture is transforming Washington's marine ecosystems. Aquaculture can be done, within reason. But just because it is "aquaculture" should not mean it can do what it wants, where it wants, however it wants.

Comments due November 1. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

It's Just Beginning: Mason County Tideland Owner Complains of Higher Valuations - Thank Taylor Shellfish and Mason County's Shoreline Master Program

[Update: The individual complaining of her tideland parcel increasing in value should have said 2,600 percent, not 26,000 percent. The appraised value increase from $1,600 to ~$43,000. In comparison, Taylor Shellfish's parcel in Hammersley Inlet which has been a commercial geoduck operation for over a decade only increased in value from $1,230 to ~$4,000. It is not clear why a parcel with a commercial operation increased so little in comparison to a parcel on which the owner has only expressed interest in starting a farm, and is in an area which the Department of Health closes during heavy rainfall.]


________________________________________________

Be careful what you wish for. 
Because now you've got it
and now you can pay for it.
$43,000* [corrected] because Taylor Shellfish
convinced the county to include in its SMP update
that the majority of tidelands owned are presumed
to be for commercial shellfish operations.

This commercial tideland parcel is worth far more than $1,600 and should pay far more than $17/year in taxes. You wanted it, you got it.
The Mason County Assessor's office has received a complaint of tidelands valued at what the owner claims is "an increase of 26,000* percent." [In fact, the increase was 2,600%.]  Another parcel owned by the same person is claimed to have "increased 64,000 percent." Assuming those numbers are correct [the former was not], the former ~4 acres of tidelands (seen in the map above) increased in value to $43,000 [corrected]. Unreasonable? Not if you intend on commercially growing geoduck, a multi-million dollar return every 5 years, or even oysters. Even if you simply own tidelands as "open space" with no intention of ever commercially growing shellfish on them, the county may think otherwise.

Upland property owners get to pay
to support shellfish growers.
Then listen to them complain
when their tideland tax parcels
are assessed at their true value.

Shellfish Protection Districts: Upland taxpayers pay so shellfish growers are able to grow shellfish in public waters on tidelands undervalued by any standard.
Both tideland parcels are owned in McLane Cove, off of Pickering Passage, which was declared a Shellfish Protection District (SPD) by Mason County in July of 2016. Notes from a meeting held in February of 2016 state this property owner noted her family was a "past commercial shellfish grower." Notes from that same meeting note her interest in growing shellfish, with Jim Hayes of Hood Canal Oyster Company doing the growing. There is no question the intent is for these tidelands to be put to commercial use, that they were used in the past for commercial use, but that is exactly what this tideland owner complains about - the Assessor's Office determining their true value if a commercial shellfish operation is taking place, or may take place. And, as noted above, even if she hadn't played her hand in February of 2016, because of Taylor Shellfish's involvement in the SMP update, virtually all tidelands may be considered as "commercial" and assessed/taxed as such.

Which tidelands are commercial? 
Taylor Shellfish has defined that
through their involvement 
in the Shoreline Master Program update.
All Bush Callow tidelands are commercial
as well as all tidelands which are "fallow"
including those in McLane Cove.

The tideland grab in Mason County.
As Mason County's Shoreline Master Program update evolved, it became obvious the primary driver in its development was the shellfish industry's desire to expand as much as possible with as little oversight as possible. Representatives from Arcadia Point Seafood and Taylor Shellfish were instrumental in drafting regulations - or lack thereof - which resulted in virtually all tidelands in Mason County being considered "existing shellfish operations." As such, no permits were needed and unlike upland barbecues, any structure related to aquaculture were allowed.  Those sold as Bush Callow tidelands had to be shown to be "abandoned" in order to fall out of the "existing" category. The remaining tidelands simply needed to be shown as being"fallow", a loose definition which virtually anyone could claim. Including the County Assessor. Coupled with not caring about "structures" used for aquaculture, it was the largest land grab obtained through the twisting of the Shoreline Management Act ever seen. And the Department of Ecology simply sat back, went along for the ride, and approved it.


Get involved. If you're not, what has occurred in Mason County will occur in any SMP update or amended update.
The Department of Ecology accepting the shellfish industry's definition of "existing" operations in Mason County will not stay in Mason County. Any shoreline county can now have tidelands defined as Mason County did, creating something from nothing. Then county residents can listen to tideland owners whose tidelands are re-assessed as a commercial operation complain about it. Taylor Shellfish is involved. It's why their tidelands are assessed so low. Others whose aren't should consider that.

Email the Department of Revenue's Marilyn O'Connell: lyno@dor.wa.gov
Tell her that it's time for tidelands with commercial shellfish operations to taxes based on the true value of their tidelands, not the current undervalued numbers. The Department of Revenue can tell county assessors to do so. 

Politics pays - Taxes on Taylor Shellfish
11 acres growing geoduck? 
$28 in 2017.





Friday, October 20, 2017

Pesticide Support from Willapa Bay Shellfish Growers: "No other way."

Shellfish growers testify 
there is no other alternative to
spraying pesticides on 
Willapa Bay shellfish beds.

Willapa Bay's public water are more than something to grow oysters in.
"My great great great grand father helped drive Willapa Bay's native population of Olympia oysters to near extinction. Let me help destroy the rest of the native species by spraying pesticides onto the shellfish beds." And pretend to be growing oysters in "pristine waters". Then wonder why nobody wants to buy shellfish grown in Willapa Bay.

Companies die when people are lazy
and unable to adapt to the changing environment.
It's time for these old timers to step aside.

It's not a vacation, it's a business, and you have to adapt to succeed.
Willapa Bay shellfish growers are blinded by their belief they are unable to adapt to a changing environment and that it is the environment they must change. Old timers say this is the way we are going to do it because there is no other way. It's time for the old timers to take their blinders off and adapt, or step aside. Willapa Bay's ecosystem is not theirs to destroy because it's easier to make a profit that way.

If you can build this 
you can learn how to grow oysters
with other methods.


Times in Willapa Bay are changing.
The waters around you have grown.
 
Better start swimming 
or you'll sink like a stone.

Get involved. Tell DOE they do not have enough studies to support putting Imidacloprid on Willapa Bay shellfish beds and in the public's waters.
The Department of Ecology is accepting comments on its draft supplemental EIS until November 1. You may submit comments here:
You may read the DSEIS here:
You may hear the October 10 hearing here:











Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cooke Aquaculture: Money Doesn't Buy Lummi Nation Silence on Net Pens

Read what integrity is.

“Your demand to keep quiet for a few extra dollars is insulting,” 
(From the Seattle Times, October 12)

(From the Seattle Times)

If we pay for the tape will you be quiet?

Money didn't work. The surprise is Cooke didn't try beads and shiny metal.
The Seattle Times' Lynda Mapes writes on the response from the Lummi Nation to Cooke Aquaculture's attempt to stop the Lummi from advocating for the removal of net pen operations growing nonnative invasive Atlantic salmon. Cooke's stumbling down a path leaving footprints of half truths and utter confusion ran into a wall of integrity built by the Lummi Nation. Given Cooke's past response - or lack thereof - to the problems it was surprising they didn't offer beads and trinkets instead of money to buy silence. This is a company which should be told to close down their operations and move their idea of integrity and what is good for them somewhere outside of Washington's public waters.

We'll hire the best scientists,
trained in the art of deception!
(You too can create fake science, here.)

Let us hire a scientist who will show there's no problem. Trust us.
Adding further to the insulting belief that the Lummi Nation's silence could be bought for a few dollars is Cooke's belief that people - from whatever nation - would honestly trust a "study" funded by them on the impacts of escaped nonnative invasive Atlantic salmon from their collapsed net pen. A collapse which they could have easily been avoided by removing fish in July when the collapse first began. Instead, pursuing additional pounds and additional profits, they chose to squeeze another month out of a failing pen, a pen which collapsed completely one month later, releasing 165,000 mature and well fed nonnative invasive Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. Then who blamed the "eclipse". 

You drive a hard bargain. Let us fund positions and make you wealthy. Just be quiet!
Putting a bow on the obvious knot which Cooke was trying to tie around the Lummi Nation to silence them, they offered to fund a position in the Lummi's natural-resource department and to “...explore and implement economic partnerships that would be very beneficial to your tribal members, in the form of jobs and revenue, potentially with a total economic benefit that exceeds $1 million annually to the members of your tribe.” (September 13 Letter from Cooke to LummiSeattle Times, October 12

This is not what Cooke wants you to see -
the core of what this company is.
Bainbridge Island net pen. DNR's reponse:
You are in default of your lease.

How about an all expense paid trip to Nova Scotia? Or Maine? Or Scotland? No, not Bainbridge Island.
In an August 30 letter from Cooke to the Lummi Nation they also extended an offer to fund a trip to see Cooke operations across the world and show what good stewards they were. It would seem a trip to the Bainbridge Island facility was not going to be included, a facility which the Department of Natural Resources found in such disrepair they wrote a letter of default demanding the repairs be made within 60 days. A facility which simply represents the core of what this company is.

Thank you to the Lummi Nation
Thank you to the Seattle Times.

Get involved - Cooke was just issued a permit by WDFW to import another 2 million nonnative Atlantic salmon eggs from Iceland.
These nonnative invasive Atlantic salmon do not belong in the public's waters, nor in the Lummi Nation's traditional waters. Cooke can see nothing but profits and believes everyone will simply do as they please if paid enough money. It's time to realize that aquaculture in Washington is not grandpa's oyster farm anymore. These are large corporations who have money and motivation to expand into Washington's marine ecosystems. They believe money can buy any kind of science they want; that  politicians and agencies will simply roll over and agree these industrial operations are "in the state wide interest"; and that integrity does not exist. It does. Get involved.

Finally - Support investigative journalism.
The Seattle Times has been instrumental in laying bare the disaster which Cooke Aquaculture and complacent state agencies allowed to happen and, more importantly, the subterfuge they created in attempting to hide their negligence. Subscribe to the paper and support investigative journalism of this caliber.