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:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Paralytic Shellfish Poison Toxins in Geoduck Causing Canadian Geoduck Industry Concerns

Hong Kong Ban Impacts 70% of BC Geoduck Market

Turns out there's more to it.
A "buried treasure" turns out not be pure gold
Geoduck harvesters in British Columbia are beginning to worry about a ban which Hong Kong has placed on geoduck harvested from the Canadian province. When testing by Canada showed levels of PSP toxins higher than levels accepted by China, overseas labs confirmed some geoduck harvested from the same area in BC did have elevated levels of PSP toxins. In turn, Hong Kong banned the import of all geoduck from BC. The response by growers in BC was described in the article this way:
Particularly galling to BC harvesters is the fact that other exporters have stepped into the gap, including Washington state – whose waters border BC – and Mexico, which Austin said did not even test its clams for PSP toxin prior to export.
Offer: $500,000= 5% ownership + 50% of royalties
Agreement: $500,000=5% ownership+interest+100% of royalties

YouTube from Dragon's Den, 2012
Reality: Investing is a risky business.

And I just invested based on past projections
It is reported that harvest boats are no longer leaving the dock and shipments to date are 180,000 kg below last year at this time. James Austin, with the Underwater Harvesters Association, was reported to have described it this way:
Austin said the Hong Kong ban had had a huge impact; the BC harvest is down about 180,000kg compared to this time last year. Boats are lying idle and divers who gather the wild delicacy from the seabed are taking time off work.
Testing? Sure, we do that.
Of concern to the Chinese was the geoduck were allowed to be harvested and shipped to Hong Kong before testing found the elevated levels of PSP toxins. As Washington's oyster growers have found, reacting to illnesses is not in the best interest of the consumers. As Washington's geoduck harvesters found, China also had concerns about arsenic in geoduck from Washington, made extreme when they discovered Washington did not even test for it. This resulted in a five month ban of geoduck from Washington, beginning in December 2013. Testing has since shown only a few areas have geoduck with arsenic levels of concern, and those areas are now closed.
Now we will do even more testing.
In the case of vibriosis contracted from oysters harvested in Washington, it took people becoming ill from the naturally occurring bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus before harvesting would be banned. The lag time created from becoming ill, seeing the doctor and in some case becoming hospitalized, and records of illnesses being reported back to the Department of Health, stretched reaction out for weeks. In the interim, hundreds of dozens of oysters could have been harvested and shipped around the United States and to China, resulting in unnecessary illnesses.

Not all testing programs are the same. 
Washington's Department of Health does have a proactive system in place to test for PSP toxins. When elevated levels are found either in geoduck or in an indicator species, such as mussels, harvesting is halted. At the time of the BC shipment three geoduck tracts had been closed due to elevated levels of PSP toxins. DOH is currently in the process of implementing a proactive system to prevent vibriosis (caused by Vp in oysters), relying heavily on growers to monitor water temperature. Training has begun. 

 A new use for tulip bulb harvesters.
Will it remove PVC pipes too?
What will we do with the tulip bulb harvesting machines if the tulip bulb market collapses?
What matters in the case of Hong Kong's reaction is the significance of having one primary market for this product. Despite claims of a domestic market, the reality is the huge majority (reported to be 90%) are exported to Asia, most to China. If this market collapses, whether it be from the rising dollar making this clam too expensive, illnesses contracted because poaching allowed untested geoduck to be exported, or China simply waking up to the modern world and realizing geoduck will not bestow any male virility qualities to its consumers, Puget Sound's intertidal area will be left with PVC tubes and nets nobody can afford to remove. It is a market waiting to collapse.

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