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, May 6, 2015

Chinook Observer to Willapa Bay Oyster Growers: New Cultivation Methods Become Essential

It's time to wake up.

Who's in charge now?
Like Rip Van Winkle awakening to find King George III replaced by George Washington, so too have the oyster growers in Willapa Bay awakened to find out market dynamics have created a new leader: consumers who want shellfish grown in waters not treated by pesticides and herbicides. As The Chinook Observer writes on May 6 notes:
"...it’s time to step up and help with a generational shift in Pacific Northwest oystering."
Don't tell me what I want.
The days of Willapa Bay's oyster industry telling consumers they want their oysters grown as they were is over. It is no different than any other industry's crisis, whether it be the American auto industry or IBM's personal computers: consumers are who drive a market and it is business's role to determine what they want. Consumers do not want shellfish grown in waters treated with herbicides and pesticides, no matter how profitable it is to those selling them, and no matter how safe their paid scientists think it is. Don't tell me I'm only part pregnant.

There are alternatives to pesticides and herbicides.
Contrary to what Taylor Shellfish and others would have consumers believe there are alternative ways to grow oysters. They are being used now and people are making a reasonable amount of money doing so. The images below show only a few of the alternative methods to grow shellfish off-bottom, eliminating the perceived problem native burrowing shrimp create. Are they appropriate for all places? It's why we have permitting - to balance the competing demands for Washington's most "valuable and fragile" natural resources.

Hamma Hamma in Hood Canal
Taylor Shellfish
Brady's Oysters in Grays Harbor

Good stewards? Show it, don't just use it as a talking point.
The shellfish industry has been framed as being good stewards of the marine habitat, fighting for clean water. It's time to show they care about more than just clean water so they can grow shellfish. Washington's marine habitat areas include water and sediments, both on the surface of those sediments and below those sediments. Consumers want the shellfish industry to show they care equally about native species, the native habitat, and the product they sell and we consume. It's not a dream.

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