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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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Vibriosis Closes Totten Inlet Oyster Harvesting - More in the Future?

From the Department of Health: Totten Inlet growing area is now closed for oyster harvest effective immediately. This reduction will remain in effect until September 30, 2012. In addition to Totten Inlet, Dabob Bay and Hood Canal area number 8 have also been closed to commercial harvesting

Vibriosis is caused by the naturally occurring bacteria named Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp). Oysters filter and retain this bacteria. When these oysters are consumed raw or undercooked Vibriosis is contracted.  A separate species of Vibrio, Vibrio vulnificus (Vv), is found in oysters harvested in the gulf states during the summer. The disease contracted by Vv is fatal in 50% of the cases. While not yet present in Puget Sound's cooler waters, the general warming trend is expected to result in both Vibrio species to become present.

"It's not going real well."
Bill Dewey, Taylor Shellfish

Last fall, Bill Dewey of Taylor Shellfish was asked by Food Safety News how well the industry was doing at minimizing illnesses caused by the more virulent Vv.  "It's not going real well," he told Food Safety News. "Some states are really struggling with it, both from an enforcement standpoint as well as an industry implementation standpoint," said Dewey, whose own state deals with other species of Vibrio bacteria -- Vibrio parahaemolyticus -- which are generally less deadly than Vibrio vulnificus but can also cause gastroenteritis.
Challenges include keeping trucks chilled in hot summer months and finding adequate space to store and chill oysters, among others, he explained.
(click here for full article)

For over 10 years the shellfish industry has been unsuccessful at controlling the outbreaks from the deadlier species of Vv, of which 1/2 die. Only California, which banned Gulf state oysters which have not been processed was successful in eliminating the disease (read more on Vv here). Oysters from Washington State continue to infect people with Vp. Last fall China recalled all oysters harvested from Washington and refused shipments due to Vp concerns (click here).

As the Governor and others press for a significant expansion of the shellfish industry it may be wise to consider whether they are truly prepared for what an expanded industry will bring with it. The "Blue Ribbon Panel" on Ocean Acidification has clearly established that tied to CO2 emissions are rising temperatures. For over 10 years the shellfish industry has been trying to stop Vv in oysters from infecting people. As Mr. Dewey says, "It's not going real well."

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