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:
http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message
Legislative and Congressional contacts:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

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



Monday, August 5, 2013

Vibrio Levels and Reported Cases of Vibriosis in Puget Sound Continue to Climb

Forecast of warm weather is expected to increase
levels of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in oysters
and the risk of contracting vibriosis.
 
Areas closed to commercial harvesting
of oysters due to Vp levels or illness.

Update: Shellfish contaminated with the naturally occurring Vibrio parahaemolyticus is not just a West Coast problem. The Rhode Island Department of Health reported an outbreak of vibriosis traced to oysters from Connecticut. It has resulted in a recall of oysters harvested from 6 separate harvesters.
Update: Test results for areas 7 and 9 in Hood Canal have allowed for them to be re-opened.

Vibrio related information for commercial harvesting closures
The Department of Health has closed commercial harvesting of oysters in additional growing areas in Puget Sound due to increasing levels of Vibrio parahaemolyticus found in testing as well as reported illnesses of vibriosis traced to Washington oysters. Oakland Bay was recently closed due to reported illnesses as were additional areas of Hood Canal due to increased levels of Vp found in testing.
 
Vibriosis traced to oysters from other areas of Puget Sound have also been reported, but not yet in the number necessary for DOH to close those areas. Increasing levels from testing have resulted in increased temperature controls in Hammersley Inlet, Totten Inlet, and Bay Center (in Willapa Bay).
 
Biotoxin related information for commercial harvesting closures
In addition to Vp related closures, DOH has also closed Kilisut Harbor, Mystery Bay, and various subtidal geoduck tracts due to Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning toxin levels.
 
Recreational beach closures
In addition to commercial restrictions on harvesting DOH has also closed various public beaches due to elevated biotoxin levels. An interactive map on DOH's website shows which beaches are closed. Note that these closures are related to biotoxin levels, not Vibrio. It can be safely assumed that if a commercial area has restrictions recreational harvesters should do so with caution. DOH has a web site with useful safety information. The rule of thumb is to not consume oysters during the months of "no R."
 
Warm temperatures+minus tides+genetically modified triploids =increased risk
Consumption of any food carries risk. The combination of warm temperatures and low tides in July and August always increases the risk of contracting vibriosis from oysters. Historically these are the months when outbreaks of vibriosis traced to the consumption of raw oysters occurs (last year Drakes Bay Oyster Company had a major recall of oysters due to an outbreak of vibriosis traced to their oysters). With the increasing use of genetically modified "triploid" oysters, which are sterile, the "milkyness" and plumpness associated with spawning oysters makes more oysters "palatable".
 
August Tide Table
(Olympia times/levels)
 
 


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