Washington Agencies Agree to Provide Additional Time for Public to Comment on Important Commercial Net Pen Management Plan
Earlier this week, we received the alarming news that Washington state agencies failed to provide the public a fair and adequate opportunity to weigh in on the draft Guidance for Commercial Marine Net Pen Aquaculture, a vitally important and far-reaching plan that will guide how local and state governments manage commercial net pens in Washington's public waters.
The public deserves adequate time and notice to provide input on how commercial net plens are managed, and we need you to speak out!
After members of the Our Sound, Our Salmon coalition and others called out Washington agencies for failing to provide adequate time and notice of this opportunity to comment, Washington state agencies have agreed to extend the comment period deadline from June 21st to August 5th!
This week's efforts and success highlight the important role the Our Sound, Our Salmon coalition continues to play in watchdogging this industry, as we aggressively move forward our campaigns and legal strategies to permanently remove this industry from Puget Sound.
Thank you to everyone who submitted an extension request and helped draw attention from all levels of government to the fundamentally broken process undermining this public review.
The additional 48-days provided by this extension will ensure organizations like Wild Fish Conservancy and other members of the public have time to adequately review the draft guidance and meet the true intent of public review— providing thorough and detailed comments that are informative to agency officials and ensure government decision-making is transparent, evidence-driven, and equitable.
In the coming weeks, we will be sure to share a summary of our primary recommendations to serve as a guide and reference as you develop your own comments on this detailed and technically complex plan. Information on this public comment period is available on the Department of Ecology's website.
Thanks again to everyone who helped to hold our state agencies accountable for correcting this broken public process and ensuring the public has a fair and adequate opportunity to comment on how commercial net pens in Washingotn are managed.
Our Sound, Our Salmon campaign (link to: www.oursound-oursalmon.org) and a coalition led by Wild Fish Conservancy to end commercial net-pen aquaculture in Washington's Puget Sound. Our Sound, Our Salmon is a broad-based coalition of 100+ organizations and businesses and tens of thousands of individuals throughout the northwest working to raise awareness of the risks commercial net pens pose to wild salmon, orcas, and the greater health of Puget Sound.
As a member since the launch of the Our Sound, Our Salmon coalition, Native Fish Society helped successfully advocate for Washington's 2018 landmark law phasing out all Atlantic salmon net pens from Puget Sound, supported efforts to protect wild fish from an exotic virus being amplified and spread by net pens in Puget Sound, and we continue to take action to stand in solidarity with British Columbia's First Nations protesting net pens operating in their traditional waters without their consent. In 2020, we are continuing to work with this dynamic coalition on a brand new campaign to address a new threat in Puget Sound.
OUR SOUND, OUR SALMON LAUNCHES THE TAKING BACK OUR SOUND CAMPAIGN
Native Fish Society is continuing to work with the Our Sound, Our Salmon coalition on a new campaign-- Taking Back Our Sound-- to prevent Washington's commercial net pen industry from moving forward with a new proposal to continue polluting and profiting in Puget Sound.
But, this new proposal will not go unchallenged. Taking Back Our Sound is a campaign to engage the public in a movement to take back our waters from the commercial open water net pen industry, to protect the northwest's wild fish and the greater health of Puget Sound's ecosystem for the use and benefit of all.
Visit the Our Sound, Our Salmon website to learn more.https://www.oursound-oursalmon.org/taking-back-our-sound)