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:

Friday, January 13, 2017

DOE on Net Pen Fish Farming in Washington: After 30 years it's time we re-visited it.

Comment period extended to March 4
Email Cedar Bouta with DOE at: cedar.bouta@ecy.wa.gov
See: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/aquaculture/recommendations.html

Should permit decisions on salmon net pen
farming be based on guidance from a 30 year old plan?

A 30 year management plan on salmon net pen farming is finally going to be updated - after most counties on Puget Sound have been told their Shoreline Master Programs must accommodate net pen aquaculture. Is this really guidance or accommodation of an industry's desire to exploit Puget Sound's critical marine habitat for their benefit?

Yes, a lot can happen in 30 years.
Genetic modification is only one thing.

Have another meeting, write another email, give me some new guidance. Or not.
DOE notes they hope to have a new plan by 2019. A date after which which permits have been issued under the 30 year old management plan DOE used to tell counties this activity was in the state wide interest and must be allowed. This is the same DOE who decided not to discuss PVC tubes in their SMP Handbook, Chapter 16, with Ms. Bouta writing in an email dated June 17, 2015, to DOE's Perry Lund, "...I'm hesitant to include guidance on PVC tubes in the Aquaculture SMP Handbook chapter...". After whatever meetings took place, it was decided to leave mention of PVC tubes out of the chapter on Aquaculture, presented by DOE to counties to use in their program planning process.

Puget Sound's low salinity
keeps Sea Lice from being a problem.
(DOE's Lori Levander in 2013)
Near Olympia, about as far south as you can get,
Sea Lice have no problem surviving.

Net Pen science likely discovers risks to wild salmon and marine habitat over 30 years time. But let's wait until the SMP updates are completed and we've told counties these pens are in the "statewide interest" so should be permitted.
Ecology is replacing the state’s 30-year old management recommendations for commercial marine finfish aquaculture (net pens). Why the Department of Ecology decided to wait until most of the counties impacted by what an updated plan would reveal isn't made clear. Unfortunately, as noted above, by the time a new "plan" is created, new operations will have been permitted and will likely never go away.
Politics at its best: Industry and DOE 
hand in hand, testifying before the House
on why net pen farming is good for you (2013)
Net pen farming is good for you
if you're a fish grower, questionable by others.
(CLICK HERE for testimony which begins at 22:50
through 1:01:43, then begins again at 1:04:39 to 1:59:00)

Is it any wonder people question who the Department of Ecology is really working for?
After allowing Whatcom County to ban salmon net pens in their Shoreline Master Program update, then telling Jefferson County "oops, we made a mistake" and Jefferson County could not ban them in their SMP update, then telling Island County they would be able to ban them due to a "...lack of evidence that net pens are an immediately foreseeable use", and having told other counties in the process of updating their Shoreline Master Programs net pen farming is in "the statewide interest" and should be allowed, Washington's Department of Ecology has now decided their 30 year old management plan should be updated with current science. Science which may have been found to be very useful in determining whether, in fact, net pen farming is really something in the statewide interest, or instead, in the interest of a few large corporations seeking to exploit Puget Sound's critical marine habitat. Orchestrated testimony before a House committee by net pen industry representatives with DOE on net pen farming clearly puts in question who is pulling what strings.

Get involved. As seen in the 2013 testimony, industry is and they are very motivated.
At the very least you may send comment to DOE on what a new and updated plan should include. Better is to tell DOE and your elected officials they have so badly managed their net pen guidance that no permitting in any counties should be allowed until the new plan is developed.

Governor Inslee: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

No comments:

Post a Comment