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



Monday, December 22, 2014

Montery Bay Aquarium Drops Ratings on Geoduck, Calls for Comments on Rating System

Monterey Bay Aquarium Used as a Tool by the Geoduck Industry in Permitting
After Monterey Bay Aquarium's "green" listing of geoduck was used as "proof" in a permitting process that PVC, netting, and associated CO2 emissions from vessels and overnight air freighting geoduck to China was deserving of a "green" rating for geoduck, the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat sent an email of concern (click here to read that email). As a result of that letter, Monterey Bay Aquarium dropped important ratings on gedouck farming and called for comments on revising its seafood rating system which puts geoduck farming in the "green" category (see below for email addresses and comment link). Those comments are due by December 27.

Cumulative Impacts: Drops "Data" from Green to Yellow With favorable data provided by the geoduck industry, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Seafood Watch" program rated geoduck raised in Puget Sound as "green." This rating, used in the permitting process to "prove" that geoduck farming has minimal impact on Puget Sound's marine habitat was challenged by the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat. That response resulted in a number of categories being downgraded, including the most critical tool used for decision making, "Data", which was dropped from "green" to "yellow" due to a lack of understanding on cumulative impacts from the habitat transformation which is occurring.

Effluent Dropped from 10 to 8
As a result of the continued loss of PVC tubing and netting from geoduck farms this rating was dropped 20%. In addition, they are now considering a separate rating category which is focused on the use and loss of plastics in the marine environment by the shellfish industry.

Habitat Impacts Not Dropped
Surprisingly, the habitat rating was not dropped. How a process which first destroys an original marine habitat area by clearing and placement of PVC tubes and netting in it, then destroys that artificial habitat when it is removed 2 years later, then destroys the habitat at harvesting, all to begin again with new PVC tubes placed in the already altered marine habitat are considered "moderate" is difficult to understand.

Wildlife Mortalities Rating Dropped
While the habitat impact category did not drop, it was recognized that the process of cleaning the beach for PVC does create mortality of intertidal species. Its not being dropped further to recognize the "mortality" of the species which have taken hold on the PVC and netting structures apparently did not happen.

Get Involved: Rating System is Being Revised
To better help the Monterey Bay Aquarium understand the level of impacts which are occurring to Puget Sound's intertidal and subtidal areas comments on their current rating system will be accepted through December 27. Their lengthy comment form is found here:
http://www.seafoodwatch.org/-/m/sfw/pdf/standard%20revision%20reference/mba_seafoodwatch_aquaculture_draft.docx?la=en
Monterey Bay Aquarium Email Contacts: Tell them Geoduck for China is not deserving of a "green" rating
 Alternatively you may email Brian Albaum <balbaum@mbayaq.org> and associates at Monterey Bay Aquarium, Santi Roberts <SRoberts@mbayaq.org>, Lisa Tucker <ltucker@mbayaq.org>, Ken Peterson <KPeterson@mbayaq.org> to express how you see geoduck farming impacting Puget Sound's marine habitat areas and beyond. Why? Beyond the aesthetics, PVC placed in the marine ecosystem, continually escaping from farms, is not healthy. That "structure", being ripped out after 2 years with all species associated with it, is not beneficial. Clearing nets of aquatic vegetation left to drift, dry and decay, is not beneficial. Unnaturally high density planting of geoduck displaces native species, lowering the diversity of native species which exists. CO2 emissions from the creation of PVC, marine vessels used, pumps used in harvesting, and overnight air freighting to China - the source of most CO2 emissions impacting the Pacific Ocean - benefits nobody.

Get involved 
Get involved. The shellfish industry is and they know what to create and who to present it to in order to get favorable ratings for one of the most transformative activities occurring in Puget Sound's intertidal area.

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