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, 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.

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