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, March 3, 2017

Coalition Submits Comment to Ecology on Net Pen Salmon Farming

Net pen salmon farming in Puget Sound 
is not a good idea.

The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat has submitted comments to the Department of Ecology on their proposed "Managing Sustainable Commercial Net-Pen Aquaculture in Washington Straits and Estuaries". In those comments the Coalition presents evidence on the significant adverse impacts to the marine habitat and native salmon which net-pen aquaculture in other parts of the world have created.

Feed lots of concentrated animals create vectors 
for parasites and disease to take hold.

Pesticides in marine ecosystems do not remain in one place.
Included in the comments is the recently published paper showing pesticides used to treat salmon infested with sea lice spread throughout the marine eco-system and impact species far beyond those the industry seeks to treat. That paper on farms in Scotland noted, "...between 2006 and 2016 levels of anti-sea lice pesticides found in sediment 100 metres away from salmon cages exceeded environmental quality standards in 45 sea lochs and inshore waters." Anyone consuming shellfish filtering waters where these net pens are proposed should take note, as should shellfish growers. (See paper here: https://theferret.scot/45-lochs-polluted-fish-farm-pesticides/)

From waters near Olympia the sea lice 
have no problem living.

Puget Sound is not so different that sea lice won't be a problem.
In the comments the Coalition has also challenged Ecology to produce peer reviewed papers showing that the salinity of Puget Sound is so different from British Columbia and other parts of the world that sea lice will not be a problem. Anyone catching cutthroat in south Puget Sound has experienced the sight of these unwanted parasites clinging to these fish. Anyone looking at the Department of Health water monitoring reports can see the salinity levels are more than adequate to support sea lice populations, as they exist now and the dramatic increase which will occur with these vectors which net pens create.

Lesions are not pretty on any fish, nor healthy.

One thing leads to another.
Parasitic sea lice are not the only problem these concentrated feel lot operations create. A recent study published in the scientific journal Plos One on net pen salmon "...showed evidence of HSMI histopathological lesions over an 11-month timespan, with the prevalence of lesions peaking at 80– 100% in sampled fish." The cause of the lesions were traced to three sources: Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV), and parasites Paranucleospora theridion and Kudoa thyrsites. But the paper notes, importantly, that the virus "... PRV alone was statistically correlated with the occurrence and severity of histopathological lesions in the heart."

Land based salmon farming in Norway
to produce 20,000 tons.
Ecology should not be beholden to the industry
who claim it is more expensive.

Alternatives cost more to operate - but what are the native species in Puget Sound worth?
When sea lice create stress on the salmon it creates an opportunity for the virus to overwhelm the immune system of the salmon, resulting in lesions, poor health, and death. Of more importance, it will not be limited to net pen salmon. The marine ecosystem is fluid and dynamic. Hoping to be able to contain the disease is a false hope. The true alternative to net pen farming are land based operations where the populations are isolated from native species. As the Coalition comments note, Ecology did not appear to consider this alternative, discussed in depth at a 2014 summit held in Canada. There, attendees heard clear and concise methods presented on land based operations.

Get involved. Aquaculture is receiving your tax dollars to promote industry's expansion at the expense of Puget Sound's ecosystem and its native species.
NOAA is proposing millions of dollars be spent in order to overcome "...major constraints, barriers, or hurdles limiting United States aquaculture production." As noted:
NOAA Sea Grant expects to have available a total of $10,000,000-$12,000,000 across fiscal years 2017, 2018, and 2019 for a national initiative to increase aquaculture production in the short-term (2-4 years). 

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

Sen. Patty Murray: (202) 224-2621
Sen. Maria Cantwell: (202) 224-3441

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