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:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Shellfish Politics in DC and a Vision for the Future

The East Coast Shellfish Growers Association (ECSGA) and Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA) have wrapped up their annual "Walk on the Hill" in Washington DC. Posted on the Facebook page of the ECSGA, among pictures of "the event" are two of significance. One, "The Vision", shows oyster farms fronting the shoreline in France. The second, "The Process", shows Kevin Lunny (owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Company) and other shellfish growers meeting with legislators in Washington DC.

A Vision of "Compatibility"
Oyster farming in Arcachon, France, where a Herpes virus
outbreak caused 80% of juvenile oysters to die.
High density shellfish farming
is not without risk.
"The Process"
"Pressing the flesh yields instant results over wine and oysters.
Our legislators have a healthy appetite for good oysters
 and they want to help us
create more green jobs in rural coastal areas." (ECSGA)
Kevin Lunny [center, owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Company]
High density shellfish farming of non-native species is not without risks. As any parent of a child in school knows, classrooms are breeding grounds for virus, spreading from one child to the next and home. In a natural environment of native species growing in natural densities, disease resistance has evolved over generations. Shellfish are not competing with each other for resources so are not stressed in their various life stages, continuing to remain healthy and thrive.
Infected Pacific oyster (bottom) and healthy (above).
Contrast this with the die offs from the Herpes virus in the high density plantings found in France. Contrast this with the die offs of the non-native Pacific oyster larvae in "hatcheries" from deep ocean upwellings in the northwest, which other species of oysters are able to cope with. Contrast this to the "Pacific oyster mortality syndrome" in Australia which overnight decimated the Pacific oyster population. [click here for article]
As with net pen fish farming, and any other highly concentrated population of species, rapid outbreaks and die-offs increase dramatically. "The Vision" does not come without risks. "Pressing the flesh" only risks spreading disease. Are shellfish politics healthy?

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