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
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hood Canal Oysters Recalled

An outbreak of vibriosis has initiated a recall of oysters harvested after August 16 from Hood Canal's Area 5 (just north of the southern "Great Bend"). Vibriosis, caused by the naturally occurring bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) is an annual problem during the summer months for Washington's shellfish growers, moreso for those who become ill. Unlike most who contract vibriosis, reported cases are not getting better.

(Note: The above numbers do not
include unreported cases, only those
confirmed by laboratory testing.)

Last year China banned the import of oysters from Washington State due to a similar outbreak and recall. Taylor Shellfish spokesman Bill Dewey responded: “This has wreaked havoc on our export business,” he said (Puget Sound Business Journal, 9/30/2011). Those who got ill were not interviewed for their response to what havoc, economic or otherwise, vibriosis caused in their lives.

In response to the FDA issuing a recall of the contaminated oysters last year, the shellfish industry sent a delegation of representatives, attorneys and lobbyists to Washington D.C. with this message for Congressman: "Despite seemingly adequate efforts by firms and SSCAs [State Shellfish Control Authorities], the FDA has unilaterally decided to elevate recalls and issue press releases which have unnecessarily alarmed consumers and had significant economic consequences on shellfish growers and distributors." (From the Pacific Shellfish Grower's Association's "FDA's Communications practices Hurth Shellfish Producers" handout dated February 2012.) It is unclear what "adequate efforts" industry lobbyists were referring to. What is clear is vibriosis is not under control.

As Governor Gregoire presses forward to expand the shellfish industry she should consider what she is leaving as her legacy. Scientists on her "Blue Ribbon Panel" have questioned whether the shellfish industry's expansion is something which should be promoted. Washington State's shellfish are causing increasing numbers of Vibriosis and other diseases. Warming temperatures can be expected to increase these numbers. She might consider listening to what her appointed scientists are saying. 


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