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:
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

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

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Willapa Bay: Taylor Shellfish to increase oyster production, happy with chemical applications

Ocean acidification not so bad after all?

The Coast River Business Journal writes that Taylor Shellfish will be increasing its oyster production in Willapa Bay by 40%, equal to roughly 4 million oysters. Apparently ocean acidification isn't too large of a problem now.

Why worry about burrowing shrimp
and Japanese eelgrass
if you can grow oysters this way?

Floats and oyster bags "create" an
oyster "unique" to Willapa Bay.
A Pacific oyster is a Pacific oyster, cupped or not
In the article it is noted that Taylor Shellfish will be expanding their oyster lines from 1,000 to 1,400. Each oyster line has 39 grow out bags with a float attached, each containing roughly 250 oysters at harvest. Through the lifting and falling, the edges of the shells of the non-native Pacific oysters' are broken off, resulting in a thicker shell with a more cup-like shape. This alteration has allowed Taylor to take the liberty of branding it as a "Shigoku" and selling it for $1.25 versus .85 for the Pacific oyster in its "normal" shell.

The old oyster in a new shell 
needs a new box.
Marketing 101: Differentiation

A new shell in a pretty box and a hint of Jerusalem artichoke
The end result of Taylor's marketing department is a Pacific oyster in a smaller shell in a new box. While still the same non-native Pacific oyster from Japan, the ability of the tumbler process to disfigure the shell has created a different enough looking oyster that it is described by Rowan Jacobsen (oyster marketing expert) as, "A small, dense, cornucopia of an oyster. A light, clean taste of cucumber and salt, with a finish of water chestnut and Jerusalem artichoke." It may be something else Mr. Jacobsen is tasting.

"It's the water."
Unfortunately, it's not from artesian wells
but from a "chemical soup."
Spraying chemicals into Willapa Bay creates a "chemical soup"
Taking a cue from the now defunct Olympia Brewery, the marketing department of Taylor Shellfish has attempted to create an oyster with a unique taste based on its "merroir" (location where it is grown, with the waters and oyster creating something unique, like a wine). Unfortunately, in the case of Willapa Bay, Washington state's Office of the Attorney General has described Willapa Bay as a "chemical soup", primarily the result of the application of a variety of chemicals by the shellfish industry. These chemicals have been used to control the native burrowing shrimp and the Japanese eelgrass, both considered by wildlife experts to be important food sources for both migrating birds and Green Sturgeon.
Would spraying chemicals into Willapa Bay
be needed if long line tumbling is used by all?
The short irony of the long line tumbler
What is ironic about the article quoting Bill Taylor and the use of longlines and tumblers is that this method of growing oysters would end up being a means to avoid the application of chemicals to Willapa Bay. The Japanese eelgrass and burrowing shrimp are described by the industry as being a problem when oysters are grown on the bottom. As Mr. Taylor notes, they sink and become smothered. If that's the case, why not simply do what he is doing and grow them above the sediments? Perhaps the unique taste of Taylor's Willapa Bay oysters would be even better, being grown in something closer to the artesian springs of Olympia Beer. Or maybe that "taste of cucumber and salt, with a finish of water chestnut and Jerusalem artichoke" is from something being added to the water.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post.