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:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Department of Ecology Tells Jefferson County its Shoreline Plan Must Permit Salmon Farms

There is no evidence that open net-cage salmon farms can operate near wild salmon without increasing the risk of disease and parasites, among other environmental impacts from escapes, pollution and predator control. [Jay Ritchlin, David Suzuki Foundation]

In callous disregard to years of work spent updating Jefferson County's Shoreline Master Program, the Department of Ecology (DOE) has told Jefferson County they will not accept the plan if salmon farms ("net pens") are not allowed. Jefferson County's position is salmon farms are not "dependent" on being sited in open waters, clearly supported by numerous upland operations throughout the world. Of course it costs more, but what is the cost of losing Puget Sound's wild stock of salmon?

Upland fish farm

Despite clear scientific evidence of open-water operations spreading sea lice to surrounding waters; infections creating the need for antibiotics which spread in the waters of Puget Sound and virus spreading to wild salmon; the need for large amounts of forage fish to be harvested in order to feed the penned salmon; and, an inability to guarantee these "couch potato salmon" will not escape and genetically degrade the wild stock or habitat supporting that wild stock, DOE has told Jefferson County to create a path for permitting. [click here for a presentation by Dr. Lawrence Dill on salmon farming, courtesy of Olympic Peninsula Environmental News]

Sea lice

Once that path is in place, economic forces will drive the car down that road, no matter how bumpy, to overcome whatever objections there may be. As seen in too many cases, hiring attorneys and scientists to support a position is too easy for large corporations to do and difficult for counties and citizens to match.

The time to prevent this proven risk to Puget Sound is now, by telling DOE "No. We will not allow a path for permitting net pens in our SMP."

DOE: "Trust us. This is good for Jefferson County."

Puget Sound has economic value far greater than its ability to farm sea food. Its ability to support native wild stock of salmon and native shellfish should not be threatened by the economics of aquaculture. Jefferson County should be applauded for wanting to protect Puget Sound by telling DOE: "Our decisions will not be driven by the economics of aquaculture."

Get involved, industry is. Call Representative Tharinger: (360) 786-7904 or Representative Van De Wege (360) 786-7916 and tell them you support Jefferson County.

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