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, January 15, 2018

Problems for a little fish and Chesapeake Bay just got a lot bigger: Cooke Aquaculture is after you.

Vertical integration: Good for profits, 
bad for Menhaden and Chesapeake Bay.

Cooke Aquaculture - coming after 
a forage fish near you with 
ships bigger and better than ever.

Dust to Dust
150 tons of fish, much reduced to pellets...
...with much fed to salmon in net pens...
..with just the right amount of coloring added...
...to make them look like real fish.

One of two new ships built,
bigger and faster...
...to harvest Menhaden to support farmed salmon.

Menhaden - The filter feeders 
of Chesapeake Bay filtering...
...or running from Cooke Aquaculture?

Where Omega Protein's 
sets for Menhaden are taking place (2011).
Is it any wonder Chesapeake Bay
has an overabundance of plankton
when its most prolific filter feeders
are being stripped from it? 

Problems for a little fish and Chesapeake Bay
are now a lot bigger - just to feed farmed salmon. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cooke Aquaculture and Atlantic Salmon: Cooke's Shiny Shoes are in Town for Meetings with Politicians - While another of their pens collapses.

Get involved and meet the politicians. Cooke is.
And they don't get why they and Atlantic salmon are a problem.
(See below for information on January 19 meeting.)
(See below for unfolding net pen collapse in Canada.)
[Net pen collapse story updated 1/12.]

Turn on the political machine - promise them anything.
Executives from Cooke Aquaculture have descended on Olympia to confront politicians and agencies about proposed legislation and lease cancellations which are aimed at removing these invasive  nonnative Atlantic salmon from Puget Sound. Along with their shiny shoes they have brought their lobbyists and have placed an advertisement on Craigslist, both promoting their business and looking for a Public Relations employee who is capable of fostering political and societal relationships.
Eclipse? No, negligence on Cooke's part
in not maintaining their facility.
(see below for "Net Pen Collapse - Part 2")

What Best Management Practices and Science will Get You
Four months ago Cooke blamed the "eclipse" on their net pen failure. A structure they knew was failing when they applied for a permit to replace it in early 2017. A structure which began to collapse in July. A structure which they initially claimed only let loose a few thousand Atlantic salmon, which in reality turned out to be over 160,000. 160,000 salmon they claimed - based on "science" - would not leave the pen area and quickly die off, but which over four months later are being caught over 50 miles up the Skagit River, healthy, and most certainly not dead. So much for BMP and science created to support this industry.

Put on your darned glasses and 
see this company for what it really is.
Profits are their priority.

But They Like us on the East Coast - Really? Who do you talk to?
Cooke Aquaculture still cannot fathom why their operations are such an issue to Washington State. Testimony before the Senate Committee clearly showed a prioritization of their profits over the threat to native salmon their operations present. Cooke even went so far as to testify how wonderful they were on the east coast, knowing full well they are not liked. Permit applications have resulted in these comments from their "friends": pesticides kill lobsters; antibiotics used spread through the marine ecosystem; property values are decreased; dead zones are created under their pens; resources are wasted due to deaths of salmon; a lack of "good citizenship"; and, Cooke plead guilty to illegally dumping Cypermethrin pesticide, killing thousands of lobsters (read article on how "unliked" Cooke is here). Cooke certainly has friends, those who are recipients of token donations to fund various social causes, but that only serves to mask the reality of who Cooke is.

"Give us $25 million and we'll 
build a processing plant - 300+ jobs"
Never mind.

Cooke: We had our fingers crossed when we made that promise. Thanks for the money.
Cooke is a company who will say anything to get what it wants. In 2012 Nova Scotia agreed to lend Cooke Aquaculture $25 million. With those funds, Cooke said they would build a processing plant and provide 300+ jobs. $18 million later, Cooke abandoned those plans and nobody seems to sure of just where that $18 million went to.
[Update: $2 million of the $18 million was returned. Of the $16 million outstanding, it was reported $4 million may be excusable. http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/109644-n.s.-invests-25-million-in-fish-farm?page=1]

Another Cooke net pen bites the dust.
Trust us. Really?

January 11: Another Cooke Aquaculture pen collapses.
Now, unfolding on Canada's east coast is another net pen collapse and what appears to be another series of "there there, it's okay, you just go back to bed" statements from Cooke and the government. After a series of storms blew through the area, canopy predator netting was ripped loose; anchor lines broke; structures collapsed; and fish have likely escaped.

Get involved and plan on attending the January 19 meeting detailed below. This is a company whose past actions show its true face. They need to go.
We are (gratefully) forwarding this post from NetPen Aquaculture-Washington state (https://www.facebook.com/netpenaquaculture/:
ATLANTIC SALMON NET PEN MEETING with Washington's 24th District Senator Kevin Van De Wege & Representative Mike Chapman.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2018 4-5 PM Sequim City Transit Center, 190 W Cedar St., Sequim, WA 98382
The purpose of the meeting is to hear about aquaculture bill language being discussed in the Legislature.
The meeting will be from 4 - 5 PM at the Sequim City Transit Center, 190 West Cedar Street between Sequim-Dungeness Avenue and 2nd Street. Doors will open at 3:30 PM.
Currently there are three different bills, 1 in the Senate and 2 in the House, all focusing on 'Atlantic Salmon' net pens.
SB 6086 (sponsored by Rankin, Rolfes, Van De Wege, et al.) - "AN ACT Relating to protecting the state's marine waters from the release of nonnative finfish from marine finfish aquaculture sites." http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/…/Bil…/Senate%20Bills/6086.pdf
HB 2418 (sponsored by Lytton, Chapman, et al.) - "AN ACT Relating to reducing impacts of nonnative finfish aquaculture by delaying construction of new nonnative finfish aquaculture facilities until thorough study, including structural analysis of existing facilities, is complete." http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/…/Bills/House%20Bills/2418.pdf
HB 2260 (sponsored by MacEwen, Walsh, et al. - of the 19th District.) - "AN ACT Relating to prohibiting the spawning, incubation, and cultivation of Atlantic salmon in the marine waters regulated by the state." http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/.../House%20Bills/2260.pdf.
The Senate Bill 6086 language would phase-out the pens as their leases expire.
The House Bill 2418 first asks for more study and for the leaseholder to show there is no environmental harm.
The House Bill 2260 is a prohibition on the species of Atlantic Salmon being used in aquaculture in Washington.
Senator VanDeWege and Representative Chapman are both concerned about the impacts of the Atlantic salmon net pens to the environment.
This meeting is a good chance for our legislators to explain the differences in the bills and for them to hear from us.

CWI submitted these comments yesterday:

Bottom line: we *don't* need more study, we *don't* need more (ineffective and expensive) agency ‘monitoring’ or 'consideration' of net pens. Science clearly tells us, and we KNOW these industrial aquaculture activities are lethal to our coastal systems and must NOT continue. We further know that that there is a win­-win alternative: UPLAND CONTAINED systems. If it costs the industry a bit more to develop the technology so be it. The tax payers of Washington state have invested enormous public dollars to restoring and preserving our native ecosystem. Please be the leaders you were elected to be, stand up, as have Alaska, Oregon and California and immediately limit net pen to upland contained facility ONLY. Legislators should update BILL 6086-and all other bills proposed- to ban net pens from Washington shorelines and require that these facilities be converted to closed system upland aquaculture facilities effective NOW.

Anne Shaffer, PhD
Coastal Watershed Institute
P.O.Box 266
Port Angeles, Washington 98362

"It's life.For heaven's sake-lean forward"