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, October 9, 2019

1.8 Million Farmed Salmon Die from Warming Waters - Puget Sound Does not Need Steelhead Farming by Cooke Aquaculture

Tell WDFW an EIS is required.
Comments: SEPAdesk2@dfw.wa.gov (By Oct 22)

WDFW did not consider the alternative of 
an upland and contained operation
on property Cooke Aquaculture owns
nor impacts from climate change.
Riverence grows "steelhead"* in fresh water.
Cooke Aquaculture can as well.
They don't need Puget Sound to discharge 
untreated plumes of waste into. 
Read about Riverence steelhead here:
"We feed them a steelhead diet that is rich in Astaxanthin, 
which is the micronutrient that gives ocean-run steelhead their rich red flesh color, 
without requiring the ocean."

Cooke Aquaculture's Scatter Creek Hatchery
5 miles from Cooke's 300+ acres.
Upland and contained, where the first phase
of  genetically altered "steelhead" grow-out occurs.

Climate change is real and Puget Sound's waters are warming
Puget Sound's waters are warming and Canadian owned Cooke Aquaculture wants to extend use of its open net pens by converting to genetically altered sterile female rainbow trout they want to call "steelhead". Cooke Aquaculture owns 360+ acres in rural Rochester they could convert to upland/contained facilities. Puget Sound does not need the risk seen below, and upland/contained facilities was not an alternative considered by WDFW.
See WDFW public notice here: https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/wdfw-seeks-sepa-public-comment-cooke-aquaculture-farming-rainbow-troutsteelhead
See article on tribal involvement here: https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/tribe-in-partnership-with-cooke-aquaculture-eyeing-steelhead-fish-farm-in-port-angeles-harbor/
See article on state leases here: https://crosscut.com/2019/08/still-recovering-escaped-atlantic-salmon-cooke-aquaculture-now-wants-farm-steelhead

"It's natural"
Really? No - it's not.
Vessels pump up, then out, salmon remnants 
from the salmon die-off. Workers scoop
the visible pieces up. 

Open net pens are additive point sources of pollution
In Canada there is an environmental disaster unfolding with up to 1.8 million farmed salmon having died due to warm waters in late August and early September. Open net pens operated by Mowi experienced waters warm enough and oxygen levels low enough that salmon contained within the nets perished. The cleanup has begun with whatever may have been left alive being transported to a processing plant, with the smell being described as being so bad "you could taste it". The operator simply said "it's natural" and nature will clean it all up.
(Read about the cleanup here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-newfoundlanders-raise-a-stink-after-18-million-dead-farmed-salmon-are/)

"Salmon Butter" coats the shorelines

Cat food or salmon butter?
Others disagree with the simplistic perception that this is simply "natural" and should be ignored. In an interview with Biologist Dr Ian Jones, he compared it to the equivalence of an oil spill. Beyond the smell, he describes the impacts from the pink affluent and fish oil as being similar to a crude oil spill. Workers who are attempting to clean up the dead salmon describe the discharge of rotting salmon as "salmon butter". Whatever may be alive, or useable, is transported to a processing plant in Burgeo, NL where the Mayor has described the stench as "This stuff smelled so bad you could almost taste it." (See article here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/mark-lane-burgeo-mayor-aquaculture-1.5313010)
"Under their breath, the cleanup crews call it salmon butter: the pink, coagulated sludge that has taken over a remote stretch of Newfoundland’s south shore." (From https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-newfoundlanders-raise-a-stink-after-18-million-dead-farmed-salmon-are/)
You can't regulate from behind a desk.
Get out.

Regulatory oversight - or lack thereof
Agency oversight has been called into question as the person in charge has yet to visit the area. This despite the event having been reported to the public in September, and its having begun in late August and early September.
"Nope, it doesn't look very pretty at all, I can tell you that," says Gerry Byrne, who has not visited the site himself. From: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/gerry-byrne-salmon-dieoff-reaction-1.5314433
Cooke's collapsed net pen in Puget Sound
Does Cooke really need another nightmare?
Does Puget Sound?

Cooke Aquaculture has already had one public relations disaster. Do they need another? Does Puget Sound?
Canadian owned Cooke Aquaculture does not need Puget Sound to grow "steelhead", whether genetically altered or not. As noted above, Riverence has been very successful in marketing "steelhead" grown in fresh water, fed a diet which rainbow trout might eat in the ocean. Consumers seem happy to accept that as "good enough". Cooke owns over 300 acres in a rural area where incentives to create a new and modern "steelhead" farm could motivate Cooke to reconsider this plan. And avoid a second public relations disaster.

Get involved - If you're not you'll be stuck with what you get.
Washington State does not need this. The impacts from it are additive, and only increase the stressors experienced. Cooke has the property, the technology exists, and the public accepts that "steelhead" do not need to be grown in salt water.

*Steelhead and Rainbow trout are genetically identical (unless altered to become sterile females, as Cooke proposes) with the only difference being Steelhead are Rainbow which migrate to the ocean and return to fresh water to spawn.

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