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 3, 2017

Our Sound, Our Salmon Campaign to Protect Puget Sound from Net Pen Farming

The Wildfish Conservancy has begun a campaign to protect Puget Sound and its native species from the inherent risks associated with net pen salmon farming under the banner of "Our Sound, Our Salmon." 
[To read more about the risks from net pen farming, see the Wildfish Conservancy page by clicking here.]

Current Icicle Seafoods Operations
It sounds so good.
What cold go wrong?

Expansion of an industrial level of activity is being planned for by corporate entities such as Cooke Aquaculture, and its subsidiary Icicle Seafoods, involved in raising these non-native Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound. Large sums of money are poured into the creation of scientific studies which minimize the impacts, such as the dead zones beneath theses enclosed pens. Industry's response is to simply say, "We'll move the pens." Moving the operation to a nearby location does little to eliminate the fact that a dead zone was created. Placing pens where "strong tidal surges" occur is little more than a form of the "dilution is the solution" philosophy which is premised on simply spreading the impact over a larger area.  It should not be accepted as "mitigation" to the very real impacts to Puget Sound's critical marine ecosystem.

More to the picture than meets the eye.
"Sea lice can't grow in Puget Sound."
Yes they can and yes they do.
(Sea-run Cutthroat, south Puget Sound)

In addition to the dead zones created beneath these salmon net farms are the impacts resulting from concentrated populations of species. Whether salmon, shellfish, or people, a concentrated population creates a vector for parasites, bacteria and virus to spread from. (For more on fish farms being "disease accelerators" read Hakai's Coastal Science and Societies article, presenting two viewpoints.)  Sea lice are one of the largest risks to native salmon and native sea run cutthroat. Like a kindergarten class where one child's illness quickly spreads to the others and beyond, so too does illness in salmon net pens, whether in the form of parasites such as sea lice or bacterial and viral infections. Use of antibiotics may contain an illness within the pen for a time, but the marine environment is not static, and any addition to the waters spreads with the currents, raising the risk of resistant bacteria spreading. Further, the spread of viral infections (not controllable by antibiotics) beyond the pens to native salmon is very real is happening in Canada. (For reported Heart Skeletal muscle inflammation disease - HSMI - spreading within net pens in British Columbia, see here.)  As noted on the Wildfish Conservancy website discussing risks associated with disease:
The list of common outbreaks includes Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA), Piscine Reo-virus (PRV), Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV), Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHSV), Vibrio salmonicida, and Renibacterium
Get involved. Help the Our Sound, Our Salmon campaign protect Puget Sound. The waters of Puget Sound belong to everyone, not a select group of corporations who see the waters and tidelands as little more than something to profit off of. The letter below may be endorsed by clicking here. The future health of Puget Sound depends on it.

Tell Governor Inslee to Protect Our Sound and Our Salmon from Atlantic Salmon Net Pens

Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
Governor Inslee, 
We are writing to express both our love for Puget Sound as well as our grave concerns about the proposed expansion of Atlantic salmon net pens in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We respectfully request that you stop the expansion of this destructive industry in Washington's waters.

Puget Sound is the lifeblood of our region. It is where we take our children to play and teach them about the wonders of nature. It is where businesses and families continue Washington’s rich history of nourishing ourselves with Puget Sound's salmon, shellfish, forage fish, rockfish, crabs, shrimp, and prawns. It is also home for many of our iconic animals such as orcas, porpoises, otters, and all five species of salmon. We cannot risk all of that to benefit an international corporation that will pollute our Sound with harmful waste, invasive species, deadly parasites, and lethal viruses that infect our wild salmon.
We know you understand the value of Puget Sound and its salmon because you have dedicated hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to support their recovery and management. Rather than supporting the expansion of an industry that will undo that great work, we encourage you to stop the expansion of Atlantic salmon net pens in Washington. We encourage you to join California, Oregon, and Alaska, which all banned Atlantic salmon net pens to protect their salmon and the health of their waters. Additionally, we encourage you to support the development of strong, legally enforceable science-based regulations for the existing Atlantic salmon net pens, not merely toothless recommendations like we have today.

Puget Sound and the fish that swim in its waters belong to the people of Washington. We care deeply about the wellbeing of the Sound and its salmon, and we want these resources protected so our children and their children can enjoy them. Our Sound, our salmon, and our future are far too important to put in the hands of an industry with a long history of negative environmental, social, and economic impacts everywhere it operates.  

We urge you to continue your work protecting Puget Sound and its salmon by stopping the expansion of Atlantic salmon net pens. This decision is in your hands - please protect our Sound, our salmon, and our future. 
Thank you for your consideration.

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