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, July 21, 2014

Tomales Bay Oyster Company Sues over Drake Bay Oyster Company Closing

Update 7/22: A 1 Acre perspective for Tomales Bay Oyster Company - In the papers filed by TBOC it notes they purchase between 6,000 and 15,000 oysters per week from DBOC. For perspective, this is equivalent to what one acre of tidelands produces. In a paper discussing the use of grow-out bags for oysters (Subtidal Cultivation of the American Oyster) a low end estimate of 2,600 bags per acre will produce 585,000 oysters, or an average of 11,250 oysters per week. How many acres are lying fallow in Tomales Bay? Of course it will take some time for oysters to grow, but then we fall back to what prior proper planning would have prevented.
 
 
 
One more attorney added to the mix
Tomales Bay Oyster Company's Tod Friend and others have filed another lawsuit over Drakes Bay Oyster Company's closure. TBOC and others claim the loss of DBOC oysters will cause them harm and the Philip Burton Wilderness is less important than their financial well being. Could a little bit of planning made a difference?
 
TBOC owner Tod Friend
removing derelict shellfish gear
on unused tideland lease holding.
(picture from Coastodian.org)
 
 
Purchasing a business with eyes wide open
In 2009 Tod Friend purchased Tomales Bay Oyster Company from Drew Alden. At the time, the fact that Drakes Bay Oyster Company would likely not have its lease renewed in November of 2012 was a well known fact. That Tomales Bay Oyster Company may likely lose one its primary suppliers in November of 2012, was a well known fact. Knowing these facts, Mr. Friend chose to go ahead and purchase this operation, with that risk well known, giving him three years to plan for that likelihood.
 
Wouldn't a bit of planning helped?
(picture from Coastodian.org)
 
How was I to know?
Now, in July of 2014, over five years after the fact, TBOC declares their business is now at risk of losing $250,000 to $400,000 and has decided to sue the government. Five years, during which any business owner should have been planning on alternative suppliers. Or expanding their own operations. 
 
3,000 poles removed, thousands more to go
(picture from Coastodian.org)
 
What about those unused tidelands? Better late than never.
It may be TBOC did in fact know the risk was real and had been planning on an alternative. Recently, the Coastodian.org published a series of articles on the abandoned shellfish gear in Tomales Bay. Included in those articles were pieces focused on areas leased by TBOC but apparently abandoned, lying fallow. Following the articles, TBOC has now begun removing the derelict gear, most probably to put the tidelands back into production.
 
Do I need a permit to remove this?
(picture from Coastodian.org)
 
No permits needed to remove shellfish racks - I guess
Forging ahead TBOC has begun the removal of the derelict racks and gear on their leased tidelands. While the recently filed lawsuit TBOC is party to expresses concern over what role the California Coastal Commission should be playing, in this case the belief is the oyster rack removal should be of no concern to the Coastal Commission.
 
The price of success
 
Now, about that parking - or maybe not.
At some point TBOC will have their supply back to normal levels, if not above. It will be without DBOC. Business will be better, and following a typical business model, that demand will allow for higher profit margins. With those profits TBOC may choose to expand their parking and retail outlet, increasing further their profits. It may be DBOC employees would even be interested in employment. Then again, the shellfish industry doesn't always do things the way a normal business might. It's an industry attorneys love.
 


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