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: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
Legislative and Congressional contacts:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

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



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Haley Geoduck Farm Comments due Monday, April 8

Comments on the "Haley" geoduck farm SEPA (environmental impact) and shoreline permit are due Monday, April 8 by 4:30. Comments should be sent to Ty Booth at: tbooth@co.pierce.wa.us, referencing permit "SD5-13, Taylor Shellfish Farms - Haley." Additional information, is located here (click on the "Documents" tab to view the "Notice of Application").

Location of proposed geoduck farm.


One big happy family - the geoduck cabal.
As an indication of how tightly the geoduck industry is controlled, this application is from Taylor Shellfish for tidelands jointly owned by Seattle Shellfish and the Carol Taylor Family Partnership. Seattle Shellfish has a geoduck nursery facility directly east, located in Spencer Cove on Harstine Island where they recently met with Mason County about an upland hatchery where additional seed would be produced (see below) [click here for notes on meeting]. Seed from the hatchery would be grown out further in the nursery, then used both in Spencer Cove and transported to the proposed farm. Additional industry ties are found in the recent Taylor Shellfish/Arcadia Point Seafood applications in Thurston County. While 3 separate permits were applied for, Arcadia Point Seafood and Taylor Shellfish worked jointly on legal briefs, with each testifying in support of the other at the hearing in Thurston County, held the same day. Currently before the Hearing Examiner in Pierce County is Chelsea Farms using the same legal firm and environmental consultant, providing near  identical "legal logic" and "studies" to support their permit application. (Note: Chelsea Farms also has a permit application before the City of Shelton for their own separate "nursery.") There is little doubt about the coordination occurring among the four major geoduck growers with multiple projects being tied to each other, not in isolation.

Location of Seattle Shellfish
hatchery proposal on Harstine Island.
 
Location of Seattle Shellfish
nursery facility, west of the
proposed Haley farm.
 
Overview of Harstine Island and Spencer Cove (left)
with the Haley Farm on the right,
just north of Herron Island.
 
What's wrong with a controlled market? Nothing, if you're controlling it.
Creating a controlled market has its benefits, the most important being things are predictable. You control what gets done where, and more importantly, how much money you make. But in the case of geoduck farming, a controlled market has left tideland owners holding the short end of the stick. Is it any coincidence that leases for private tidelands to grow geoduck on are almost all 10%? Generating over $1,000,000 in net profits off an acre of tidelands and only offering 10% to the owners because "it's the going rate" is great - unless you own the tidelands and don't ask "why's that the going rate?"

Waterfront property holds great value - if you know about it.
As seen in the current permit application geoduck growers are fully aware of the value tidelands hold. For roughly $250,000 Seattle Shellfish and the Partnership purchased a parcel with tidelands capable of generating >$2 million in 5 years (~2 acres are able to grow geoduck). Assuming they get the permit.

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