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:

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Farmed Salmon: An Industry in Transition to Enclosed Operations - The old model is dead.

"the economics are all there for us
and 10 more [companies] in terms of demand.”
(Whole Oceans chief development officer Ben Willauer)
UndercurrentNews, August 16

Farmed salmon is an industry in transition, moving from open net pen operations to upland/enclosed operations. In the United States, three major developments are currently underway with 2 in Maine and 1 in Florida. The latter, Atlantic Sapphire's, is expected to supply up to 10% of the US demand for farmed salmon when completed. Whole Oceans in Maine already has sold out its first 10 years of production.

Atlantic Sapphire's "Bluehouse"
All operations are all withing one location.

There are both ecosystem and economic advantages to the change in how salmon are grown. The risk to the native ecosystem and habitat from virus, waste, and escapes are eliminated with enclosed systems. Placing enclosed operations closer to population centers minimizes the energy wasted in moving salmon smolt to the pens, well boats needed to treat disease, and energy wasted in moving salmon to markets from the pens at maturity. 

High cost of transportation
is collapsed 
with land based operations.
(from Atlantic Sapphire)

There are active arguments against the transition, but all fall by the wayside on closer examination.

Too much fresh water is used: Open net pen operations currently require the same amount of fresh water to hatch and grow out small salmon for transport to their open pens. Salt water required for grow out to market size would be drawn in from the ocean or deep salt aquifers, representing virtually nothing. Further, once drawn, the water is recirculated, and filtered, with the waste contained and not allowed to spread throughout the environment as it does in open net pen operations.

Too much energy is required for pumps: This argument ignores the evolution - if not revolution - also currently taking place in the energy field. Whether in the form of wind turbines (currently used at Atlantic Sapphire's Denmark facility) solar cells, or tidal turbines, these operations are able to easily produce much of the power needed. As seen in the image above, reducing energy requirements for current open net pen operations is simply not possible (e.g., there are no electric boats nor planes).

Land is scarce
: While land may be scarce in some European countries, this is simply not the case in north america. Further, even where land is scarce, the size of the facilities maximizes the land used to produce protein for consumption. As seen in the image below from Atlantic Sapphire's Bluehouse in Denmark, the tanks use for grow out are immense in height.

Rural jobs are at risk: Some jobs may be lost, but many will be created as construction and operation of these new facilities begins.

Enclosed/upland salmon growing operations will revolutionize and change forever the farmed salmon industry. Disease and waste entering the natural ecosystems and escapes impacting native species will be eliminated. While companies operating in the United States and British Columbia will resist the transition, it will happen, with capital and jobs flowing to those areas supporting this transition. The market will demand it as more and more problems with open net pen operations are brought to light.

Healthy, sustainably grown salmon is here now
and it won't stop coming.

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