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:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Non-native Pacific Oyster Hatcheries' New Problem - For Now

The progression of blame for
non-native Pacific oyster hatchery problems:
Vibrio Tubiashi>Ocean Acidification>Vibrio coralliilyticus>?
Old bacteria, newest blame
Vibrio coralliilyticus
(from 2003 study in Applied and
So many Vibrio to choose from
Shellfish hatcheries in the northwest trying to grow non-native Pacific oysters now have a new source of their trouble to point their fingers at: Vibrio coralliilyticus (Vc). In the years past, the bacterium Vibrio tubiashi (Vt) was believed to have been the source of hatchery die-offs, but Oregon State University now says there was a mis-identification. In a press release today, OSU states Vc is "the primary offender in bacterial attacks on Pacific Northwest oyster larvae."
Far more widespread and the primary offender
In announcing the mis-identification, OSU noted Vc is not only "...far more widespread than previously believed, but that it can infect a variety of fish, shellfish and oysters, including rainbow trout and larval brine shrimp. And it appears to be the primary offender in bacterial attacks on Pacific Northwest oyster larvae."
Sometimes a non-native species just
shouldn't be where we want it to be.
One piece of the puzzle about why non-native oyster hatcheries have a problem
Trying to grow the non-native Pacific oyster from Japan in the colder waters of Puget Sound has always been a challenge for the shellfish industry. Large sums of taxpayer money has been spent to overcome one perceived problem after another. Genetically modifying the species so they become sterile only adds a level of stress to a species out of its normal environ. OSU notes there are multiple problems in saying:
In what's now understood to be a problem with multiple causes, these pathogenic bacteria were involved in major crashes of oyster hatcheries, causing shortages in seed oysters for commercial producers. Dramatic losses were suffered in a Netarts Bay, Oregon, hatchery in 2005, and Washington hatcheries were also hard hit. Bacterial infection, water acidity, oxygen depletion and rising seawater temperatures are all believed to have been part of the problem.
Something to consider is the problem lies not with the waters of Puget Sound and the northwest, but instead it's in trying to force a non-native species into Puget Sound and other areas of the northwest. 

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