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, October 31, 2016

Shellfish Economics: China is not an endless market for shellfish.

Seafood Source writes on China and a market saturated with shellfish which has driven the price of what were once considered a luxury oyster down. So significant is the decline that "...many suppliers into China have not been making profits..". Asked why the sudden increase in supply occurred, the writer notes a grower as saying: "The Irish authorities have really progressed their licensing backlog quickly and efficiently."

What is the significance? Exactly the same thing is happening in the United States. Whether on the East Coast, the West Coast, or the Gulf Coast, political pressures from the shellfish industry is resulting in a dream long sought; "streamlined" permitting which will result in an expansion of operations. But as is often the case, be careful what you wish for as it may come true. In this case, along with the sudden expansion of operations will come, as it always does, a drop in price and a lack of profitability.
Who will pay to clean up
when the market collapses?

Economic models justify the expense of plastic structures currently appearing throughout the intertidal areas and waters of the US, in fact throughout the world. When that model changes and profits are no longer there, who will be left to clean up what is left behind as growers walk away? One simply needs to look at Drakes Estero to see one answer: the taxpayers.

While the reasons are different, the decision of Drakes Bay Oyster Company to simply walk away from a failed business model and leave taxpayers to pay for the clean up of over 500 tons of aquaculture gear and 5 miles of oyster racks in order to allow the restoration of eelgrass to occur points to what to expect. [Note: To be fair, the government could have stood its ground and made DBOC pay a far larger portion than nothing.]

As seen in the article written in Seafood Source, China is not an endless market where anything produced will sell. Geoduck are not exclusive to Puget Sound, growing in Alaska and British Columbia, even Mexico. When supply exceeds demand, who will be left to clean up the PVC and mesh tubes which are proliferating throughout Puget Sound?

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