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:
http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message
Legislative and Congressional contacts:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

Additional information
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/protectourshore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectOurShoreline



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sept 26 Public Hearing: Geoduck Operation Expansion in Thurston County

Good for whose economy?
Impacting residential area how?

What: Hearing for the expansion of Geoduck Unlimited (owned by Greg Reub) on a tideland parcel owned by Deborah and Greg Dibble at 10221 Steamboat Island Rd., NW, Olympia, WA.
When: September 26, 10AM
(Note: Hearing on geoduck farm will be preceded by a separate hearing for a bulkhead.)
Where: Thurston County Courthouse Building No.1, Room 152 Olympia, Washington 985023
Why: To determine whether a shoreline permit should be issued for an industrial level operation within an established residential area.
Agenda here: Agenda
Staff report here: Staff report
Those in opposition here: Opposition emails (Note: There are many opposed, so this is a large file.)

PVC tubes for everyone.
(It's only for a few years.)

Profits for me, taxes for you, and your property impaired.
On September 26 Thurston County will hear reasons why Greg Reub should be issued a shoreline permit to expand his current geoduck operation (on a tideland parcel he paid for $85,000 for) onto the Dibble family's tideland parcel (tidelands which currently, without a shellfish operation, Thurston County appraises at $2,400).  If permitted, the estimated profits to Mr. Reub for geoduck shipped to China would be in the range of $500,000. The Dibble family, creating a "license to use real estate" would be responsible for various taxes to the Washington Department of Revenue, income tax, and based on what Mr. Reub paid for his tideland parcel, a likely significant increase in their property tax. Explaining to financial institutions that the long term lease allowing the ongoing operation impairing the property would be up to the Dibble family. Explaining to Thurston County how that somehow helps the "local economy" would be up to Mr. Reub.
[Note: In what appears to be a financially deft move, Mr. Reub moved his tideland parcel into a self-directed IRA. Doing so likely allowed Mr. Reub to harvest geoduck and shield the income from taxes, until the future, when retirement withdrawals begin. Likely doing so, Mr. Reub then moved title of the tidelands out of the IRA and into his name, perhaps so he could deduct the property tax (as minimal as it is) from his other income earned as an environmental consultant with Eco Analysts.]
Get involved.
Attend the September 26 hearing and listen to why scientists such as Mr. Reub who own and operate geoduck farms believe their science is good enough to justify the plasticizing of Puget Sound's intertidal tidelands in residential areas. Listen to Thurston County explain how aware they are of current and planned commercial operations on both shorelines of Totten Inlet and throughout the county. And perhaps explain why it is okay to ban plastic shopping bags but then allow thousands of PVC tubes to be placed into Puget Sound.

 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Seattle Times: Seattle Chefs Tell Inslee To Remove Salmon Net Pens from Washington's Waters

"it smells like death"
It doesn't look much better.

Chef Hajime Sato  of sustainable sushi restaurant Mashiko has something to say to Gov. Inslee: “Do the right thing for the people and the planet, not the corporations who don’t care about the environment. That’s why you were elected. A few bucks today isn’t worth [expletive] when you’ve destroyed the planet to get it. Think about it.” 

Renee Erickson, of The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, and more, says it’s “just gross.”
“Please stop fish farming in our beautiful waters. We need to set an example of what sustainable is.”

 Restaurateur Tom Douglas calls the practice [of farming nonnative Atlantic salmon] “pillaging our waters.”

Edouardo Jordan of Salare and JuneBaby terms it [raising nonnative Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound] “shocking.”

Read the full article in the Seattle Times here:
http://www.seattletimes.com/life/food-drink/just-gross-seattle-chefs-tell-the-governor-what-they-think-about-fish-farms-in-washington-waters/

Let's add a little lice to your salmon.
And the public waters.


The Shoreline Management Act in not in place to "foster and promote" aquaculture.
The aquaculture industry, whether it be fin fish or shellfish, sees Puget Sound's public waters as little more than a palette to profit from. Assumptions based on science crafted by contract scientists hired by industry has lead politicians and agencies they oversee down a false path. Researchers at universities whose grant money is tied to supporting this false narrative minimize impacts through focusing on small discrete actions instead of large contiguous operation in place now and planned for. Donations to some of the largest nonprofit environmental organizations have caused them to look the other way.

All of this has resulted in nonnative invasive Atlantic salmon and nonnative invasive Pacific oysters spreading throughout Puget Sound, all while spending millions in an attempt to restore native salmon, native Olympia oysters, and restore habitats both are dependent on. This is all being undone.

Glaringly, the Atlantic farming industry has perpetrated a myth supported through NOAA and others that farmed salmon, should they escape, will never swim farm, die soon, and pose no risk. Reliance on "Best Management Practices" has led agencies to off load their responsibilities, believing corporations with profits as their focus will take care of themselves and the environment.

This "science" has been turned on its head, as has the belief in regulatory oversight being adequate. These nonnative invasive Atlantic salmon have traveled over 250 miles, seeking beds to spawn in. BMP's led Cooke to believe that despite a partial collapse of their pen in July they could press another month out of their failing pen, which one month later collapsed completely, releasing over 160,000 nonnative invasive Atlantic salmon into the Salish Sea. All the while, agencies involved in oversight had been lulled to sleep.

Get involved. Industry is. They pay little for the use of the public's waters. They care little what they do to it.
Stop buying farmed salmon from Costco and elsewhere. Ask your server where the salmon on the menu came from. And, sign the petition at Our Sound, Our Salmon, telling Governor Inslee it is time for Washington to remove these industrial operations.
https://www.oursound-oursalmon.org/sign-the-petition#petition

   


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Canadian environmental activist and documentary filmmaker Twyla Roscovich found dead

Twyla Roscovich: Someone who cared
for First Nation people and native salmon
has passed away.

Environmental activist Twyla Roscovich has passed away. Ms. Roscovich was a passionate environmental activist who produced the film, Salmon Confidential, exposing the impacts of salmon farming on native salmon in Canada. She leaves behind a young daughter. An educational fund through GoFundMe for her daughter has been started. Her passion and creativity will be deeply missed. Read more on Ms. Roscovich by Al Bergstein by clicking here.





Monday, September 18, 2017

"Just farmers" raising non-native invasive Atlantic salmon in the Salish Sea?

From our farms to your waters -
sea lice resistant to pesticides.
From our farms to your table -

is now loose in the Salish Sea,
with attachments included.

As if it wasn't bad enough already.
USA Today writes today: "A surge of parasitic sea lice is disrupting salmon farms around the world."
Cooke Aquaculture says in an associated video clip: "We're farmers. Not fishermen, farmers. And this is absolutely a farming issue." (@ 23 seconds into the video clip)

"Just farmers."

No, you are not farmers. You operate in the public's waters and your operations have moved beyond being merely a threat.
Aquaculture - in any form - is using the public's waters and what is added to those waters spreads throughout the marine ecosystem, including sea lice resistant to pesticides. Move net pens out of open waters to upland and closed facilities where they won't pollute the public's waters, putting native salmon's survival at risk, then maybe you can call yourself a farmer. Until then net pen's growing non-native Atlantic salmon in the Salish Sea have created a clear and present danger to the public's waters and native species in the Salish Sea.

"We'll zap them with lasers."

One thing leads to another. 
As the Daily News noted in an article today, commenting on the problem: "Feeding fish a pesticide with the active ingredient of emamectin benzoate became the tool of choice to control lice, Carr [with the Atlantic Salmon Federation] said. But around 2009, the lice appeared to become resistant to the pesticide, and they have spread globally since." It writes further : "Underwater drones inhabit the other end of the technological spectrum, zapping lice with lasers to kill them". On top of Cooke's callous "non" response to the escape of over 160,000 non-native invasive Atlantic salmon into the Salish Sea, the creation of sea lice spreading throughout the world should be of great concern.

Where does all that food go? Not to a solid waste site.

From the farm to the public's waters: Food waste in net pen aquaculture isn't contained, nor is what the fish don't need on the back end. A - B = fish waste.
In a stark example between the difference of terrestrial farming and aquaculture, one need only look at Cooke Aquaculture's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit application. Submitted in March of 2017 for the new "Site 2" off of Cypress Island, it included a table of monthly food added to the water and the weight of salmon gained. Between January and August (the peak weight and just prior to salmon being removed). Cooke notes there will be 2,670,000 pounds of food thrown into the waters for salmon. During that same time, salmon within the pen gained 1,300,000 pounds. The difference of 1,370,000 pounds (685 tons) of food added and weight gained is not explained, but on the surface, appears to be food not eaten or that "discharged" by the salmon. Unlike terrestrial feedlots, the waste cannot be collected and recycled. Instead, it simply drifts within the marine ecosystem, some settling below, some drifting off-site. From their farm to the public's waters.

Get involved.
Beyond over 100,000 non-native Atlantic salmon roaming throughout the Salish Sea and migrating up freshwater streams and rivers, these net pen operations add far more to the critical marine habitat we have all come to appreciate.  It is time for these operations to be shut down and moved out of the public's waters. Yes, profits for Cooke will be lower, but just because you think you're a farmer does not mean you can do what you want in the public's waters.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Net Pen Aquaculture: It sounded so good in 2013. It's a disaster in 2017.

The 251 mile journey
of a non-native Atlantic salmon.
One of many healthy "couch potatoes"
looking for a river, a mate, and a place to call home.

How non-native Atlantic salmon were allowed to spread over 251 miles in the Salish Sea: A journey which began in 2013. (See links to DOE's " Marine Net Pen Science Forum" at the end, and an image of how far the "couch potatoes" have spread in the Salish Sea above and on WDFW's "catch map".) 
(For WDFW "catch map", see here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/atlantic_catch_map.php)

2013 - NOAA/DOE: We're the government. Trust us. Growing non-native Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound is safe and good for you.

Welcome to the future of farming
non-native Atlantic salmon.

The future is here and it's not good.
In January of 2013, the Department of Ecology's Cedar Bouta opened the "Marine Net Pens Science Forum" telling everyone "we're filming for the future." The future is here and the video of that seminar from 2013 can be looked at to see how NOAA and the Department of Ecology crafted a narrative to promote growing the non-native Atlantic salmon as being safe and profitable. That narrative, crafted to assure everyone this was a safe, sustainable, and profitable proposition, has now resulted in the escape of 160,000, 10 pound, mature, non-native Atlantic salmon, swimming over 251 miles away from the collapsed net pen, beginning to migrate upstream to native salmon habitat. A pen which had begun collapsing in July, one month before the final failure.

NOAA's Laura Hoberecht and Mike Rust:
It's going to be a great future.

Caught in the past with an ecological disaster in the present growing larger as days go by.
Still with us from 2013 are NOAA's Mike Rust who assured us after the collapse of the pen that the 160,000 escaped salmon were nothing more than "couch potatoes" who would not go anywhere (See how far these couch potatoes have traveled on WDFW's catch map). Also still with us from NOAA is Laura Horberecht, recently quoted in The New Yorker as saying "...farming species outside their natal territory is rare - Atlantic salmon being the exception." [Note: Apparently Ms. Hoberecht is not aware of the non-native and invasive Pacific oyster being farmed by shellfish growers in Puget Sound.] (See The New Yorker article here: https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/washington-states-great-salmon-spill-and-the-environmental-perils-of-fish-farming)

Trust us. You want to include net pen farming in your Shoreline Master Programs. It's good for the economy.
Also still with us is the belief by the Department of Ecology, stressed by Mike Cook (when not flirting with Laura Hoberecht) that farming non-native salmon is a water dependent right he and industry should have under the Shoreline Management Act and that local agencies simply aren't capable of understanding the science industry creates. Excluding is not allowed by DOE who believes they know best.

Weekend movies to watch: DOE's 2013 "Science Forum" on growing non-native Atlantic Salmon and why there's nothing to worry about.



Part 1: NIMBY's and NGO's with too much time on their hands make business hard.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1CWfjh86h0
DOE's Cedar Bouta introducing Laura Hoberecht who discusses NOAA's promotion of aquaculture. She is followed at 12:26 by the flirtatious Mr. Cook who discusses Icicle's (now Cooke Aquaculture) operations who, at 28:14 discusses industry's opinion on those opposed to farming non-native Atlantic salmon. At 32:42 Bruce Stewart with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission discusses culturing native salmon.

Part 2: NOAA on the best food to feed "couch potatoes" (maybe they needed more fat?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLnmNOtNRbg&t=47s
Jill Noland begins talking about pathogens associated with farmed salmon, focused on minimizing the risk to wild salmon. At 19:50 Mike Rust discusses food used in the farming of salmon with comparisons to chickens and cows. At 39:20 Walt Dickhoff with NOAA (email: walton.w.dickhoff@noaa.gov) speaks to the risks from escapees.

Part 3: Permitting is so hard, but so complete, there is nothing to worry about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkl28cuVv0k
Part 3 begins with Ms. Hoberecht talking about permitting, using a permitting chart for shellfish farms, presented many times by the shellfish industry when complaining about regulatory oversight. At 3:55 Lori LeVander with DOE discusses the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits issued by DOE. At 17:27 John Kerwin with WDFW speaks to permitting and fish health, including (at 27:08) the requirement that non-native Atlantic salmon eggs be marked such that a mature salmon can be traced back to the facility. [Note: It is not known whether this still occurs.] Mr. Kerwin also stresses the risks from large, mature fish escaping, such what just occurred (at 29:27). At 31:20, Jack Rensel (often used as an expert witness by the aquaculture industry in support of their permits) speaks of scientific "modelling" and assumptions to support industrial scale operations and siting.

Part 4: Forum Discussion, Question 1 - Why aren't we growing native salmon instead of non-native Atlantic salmon? Answer: You make more money growing non-native Atlantic salmon, leaving more profits to help influence policy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26gYoKPKI-E&list=PL8BmI4b96dKZ5rdChrLsl-e5fxeGMHsLA&index=4
Part 4 is an open forum with the first question being why aren't native salmon being farmed, responded to by Mr. Cook on the economic benefits of farming Atlantic salmon.

Get involved. As seen in how well NOAA and DOE crafted their 2013 "scientific forum" to support the growing of non-native Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound, industry has been. Despite assurances from government agencies about there being no risk, an ecological disaster is unfolding. Alaska bans net pen farms. California prohibits the culturing of salmon in its Pacific waters. Oregon has no net pen operations.

Tell your elected officials it is time to remove these industrial scale operations from Washington's waters.

Contact information for state and national elected officials may be found here:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
Tell Governor Inslee if he really cares about Puget Sound, now is the time to stand up and tell DOE to allow counties to ban these operations.
http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message
Help support those who are focused on protecting the Salish Sea's diversity and health from these operations:
Our Sound, Our Salmon
https://www.oursound-oursalmon.org/#home
Wildfish Conservancy
http://wildfishconservancy.org/
Center for Food Safety:
https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Atlantic "couch potato" Salmon Reach the Columbia River: A 271 Mile Journey

Update: 9/8 - WDFW has removed the reported catch of 2 non-native Atlantic salmon from the mouth of the Columbia River. This leaves the longest known distance traveled by the non-native Atlantic salmon at ~169 miles, caught off the west coast of Vancouver Island, near Tofino, British Columbia. Non-native Atlantic salmon continuing to migrate upstream in Washington rivers are indicated by reported catches from the Puyallup, Snohomish, Skagit, and Nooksack Rivers.



NOAA's Michael Rust
on non-native Atlantic Salmon:
"These things [Atlantic salmon] are kind of couch potatoes.."
20 years at NOAA's Northwest Fisheries 
Science Center in Seattle

Aquaculture is not terrestrial farming and farmed salmon are not dairy cows.
For the past 3 weeks NOAA's Michael Rust has been presented as the government's expert researcher who has attempted to minimize the risk of the 160,000 non-native Atlantic salmon which escaped from Cooke Aquaculture's failed net pen. As recently as September 1, Dr. Rust was still being quoted as saying the escaped salmon wouldn't travel far, comparing them to a "dairy cow" in the Serengeti. It's a bad analogy. For Dr. Rust, this incident has also largely dismissed his 2001 technical memorandum he co-authored which said escaped Atlantic salmon "carry very little or no risk" to wild native species. 
Note: This technical memorandum, "The Net-pen SalmonFarming Industry in the Pacific Northwest",  continues to be used by industry in support of expanding operations, most recently in Cooke Aquaculture's attempt to move and expand its operations into the Straight of Juan de Fuca (see reference to document submitted for permit here in 2016).

The 271 mile journey 
of 2 "couch potatoes". 


These are ripe potatoes ready to procreate, not adolescents.
Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife's "Atlantic Salmon Catch Map" shows the invasive non-native Atlantic salmon are now entering freshwater streams and rivers of Washington, and now through the Columbia River, Oregon as well. Seeking to spawn where the endangered native species do. Unlike the failed attempts to introduce Atlantic salmon in the past which are referenced in Dr. Rust's "technical memorandum", consisting of young salmon or eggs, these are mature and well fed salmon with a drive to prorecreate. Unlike the escaped salmon referenced which failed to gain a foothold in the past, which weighed between .5 to 1.5 kg, these salmon are well fed, mature adults weighing over 4.5kg. They are neither "couch potatoes" nor "dairy cattle" in the Serengeti. They are a non-native and invasive species which has been let loose in a marine environment, in large part due to NOAA's drive to increase aquaculture and minimize the very real risks which industrial aquaculture brings with it.

271 miles away, looking for a new home.
From WDFW catch map, showing 
recent catches at the mouth 
of the Columbia River.

Don't know what you've lost till it's gone.
Rushing blindly along in support of an industry who sees Puget Sound's marine environment as little more than a template to generate profits from has resulted in one of the most significant and adverse impacts in recent history. Blinded by "science" created to support agendas with little more than higher profits as the goal, county, state and federal agencies have been led down a path believing aquaculture, of any type, must be good, thereby needing little oversight. Relying on industry's Best Management Practices results in a reliance on the fox in the hen house to police itself. In this case, instead of Cooke stopping production in its known failing net pen, it instead convinced agencies that one more cycle of farmed salmon could be squeezed out of its failing pen. When it failed, Cooke flailed between "the eclipse"  and the "addition of 3 million pounds" of free swimming salmon as the cause. Their original estimate of 6,000 salmon instead was 160,000 mature, non-native Atlantic salmon which escaped. It was Cooke, it was the agencies responsible for regulating them, and it was the public for not fighting hard enough to prevent industrial scale aquaculture from transforming a critical marine ecosystem.  

Get involved, and don't give up. "Sorry Phil. You were right."
Don't believe that the profits of a few corporations are in the state wide interest. Tell your elected officials it is time to remove these industrial scale net pen operations from Washington's waters and stop the expansion of industrial aquaculture. Alison Arthur's editorial in the Port Townsend Leader apologizing to past Jefferson County Commissioner Phil Johnson who opposed DOE forcing the county to allow net pens is something everyone should read.

Contact information for state and national elected officials may be found here:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
Tell Governor Inslee if he really cares about Puget Sound, now is the time to stand up and tell DOE to allow counties to ban these operations.
http://www.governor.wa.gov/…/cont…/send-gov-inslee-e-message
Help support those who are focused on protecting the Salish Sea's diversity and health from these industrial scale operations:
Our Sound, Our Salmon
https://www.oursound-oursalmon.org/#home
Wildfish Conservancy
http://wildfishconservancy.org/
Center for Food Safety:
https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/

Monday, September 4, 2017

Non-native Atlantic Salmon Spread Throughout Salish Sea and Up Inland Rivers

Non-native Atlantic Salmon
Migrate to Fresh Water Rivers 
in Washington State

It's quite a spread that's been offered to over 160,000 mature non-native Atlantic salmon. 
The Department of Fish and Wildlife "catch map" shows that contrary to NOAA's Michael Rust that escaped non-native Atlantic salmon being "couch potatoes," and others saying they would not wander far from pens should they escape because they are "used to being fed", these non-native salmon are anything but that. Worse, they are now migrating up rivers in Washington into habitat used by native salmon, putting both habitat at risk and young native salmon at risk through being consumed by the non-native Atlantic salmon. These salmon are mature and ready to spawn.

"You look in pretty good shape to me."
"I've been fed omega 3's, antibiotics, 
and swam laps in the pen regularly."
And, they're mature, heading up Washington rivers.

Bad timing for fish to escape
People have claimed there is little to worry about habitat displacement as attempts to plant these non-native salmon in the past have failed, with no populations taking hold. The difference is in the past, young salmon were used, not mature salmon, ready to spawn, like those which escaped from the net pen on August 19. Those which escaped are laden with eggs, looking for a place to reproduce. As seen from the area they have spread out over the past 2 weeks, they are anything but "couch potatoes". These have become an invasive species, due directly to mis-management and to a lack of oversight by all agencies.

Get involved
Tell your elected officials it is time to remove these industrial scale operations from Washington's waters. The risk is not "presumptive", it is real.
Contact information for state and national elected officials may be found here:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
Tell Governor Inslee if he really cares about Puget Sound, now is the time to stand up.
http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message
Help support those who are focused on protecting the Salish Sea's diversity and health from these operations and lack of regulatory oversight:
Our Sound, Our Salmon
https://www.oursound-oursalmon.org/#home
Wildfish Conservancy
http://wildfishconservancy.org/
Center for Food Safety:
https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/#