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



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Taylor Shellfish/Seattle Shellfish Haley Geoduck Farm Permit Approved (was Ocean Acidification an issue to consider?)

Pierce County Hearing Examiner
Approves Haley Geoduck Farm Permit
Denies MDNS Appeal
 
Geoduck Farm on Haley Family
Tidelands in Case Inlet
 
On October 21, Pierce County's Deputy Hearing Examiner Edward McGuire issued a decision on the appeal of a Mitigated Determination of Non-significance (MDNS) and shoreline permit for a geoduck farm operated by the two largest geoduck growers, Taylor Shellfish and Seattle Shellfish, on tidelands owned by the Haley family and themselves.
 
MDNS Appeal: Industry Witnesses "More Persuasive"
In that decision Mr. McGuire found the challenges to the MDNS decision by the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound and neighbors were either "without merit", did not establish a "probable significant adverse impact", "failed to carry their burden of proof", and had witnesses who were "overshadowed by Applicant's witnesses pertaining to specific field experience, knowledge, and expertise in geoduck aquaculture; and were thus more persuasive." Despite Seattle Shellfish building a shellfish hatchery to the west on the shoreline of Harstine Island's Spencer Cove, operating a shellfish nursery over 100 yards long within Spencer Cove, and operating numerous geoduck farms in Spencer Cove, along with those in Case Inlet, the Hearing Examiner felt he was not presented with sufficient evidence to warrant requiring a cumulative impacts analysis.
 
Shoreline Permit: Approved with Conditions, Some added or Modified
Beginning on page 30 of the decision the Examiner lists the Conditions which are to be made part of the permit. Added is that a "status report" must be submitted every 2 years, listing all conditions of the permit and that an aquatic vegetation survey be completed "following issuance of the SDP", used to determine farm boundaries and to "reflect any changes between issuance of the SDP and planting." With conditions listed and as modified the Examiner believes the permit approval will meet all requirements.
 
Consumption of carbonate ions by CO2's
absorption impedes calcification.

Absorption of fewer carbonate ions by
increased high density shellfish farming
 will impede calcification in all species.
(image from NOAA)
 
Is what's good for the shellfish industry good for Puget Sound?
Ocean Acidification - Shellfish initiatives and CO2 absorption are bad for native species.
Not considered is what impact expansion of high density shellfish "farming" will have on chemical changes resulting from what is being promoted by the shellfish industry as a threat to its survival: Ocean Acidification. In the image provided by NOAA, it is seen that CO2 being absorbed by the marine waters is altering its chemical makeup, resulting in what Taylor Shellfish's Bill Dewey says are "fewer carbonate ions" required for shellfish. It is these carbonate ions which all species who require calcification to grow, whether it be shells or bones, are dependent on.
 
Pteropod shell dissolution
 
Shell dissolution on native pteropods
A study published August 27, 2014 by NOAA's Shalene Busch, shows pteropods native to Puget Sound, and an important link in the oceanic food chain:

"experiences shell dissolution and altered mortality rates when exposed to the high CO2, low aragonite saturation state (Va) conditions that occur in Puget Sound and the northeast Pacific Ocean." [click here for study]
Is what's good for the shellfish industry good for Puget Sound?  What will be the impact of the Washington and National Shellfish Initiatives on the native species of Puget Sound as those high density plantings "sop up" the fewer carbonate ions? There's something for Sea Grant, the University of Washington and Governor Inslee to ponder, along with other Hearing Examiners, the Shorelines Hearings Board, and judges.



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