Speak Out Against Harmful Net Pens!
NFS joins with other wild fish advocates to stand against this action. Yesterday, Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced they have approved permits that will allow Cooke Aquaculture to transition their surviving net pens from banned Atlantic salmon to a biologically-altered form of steelhead/rainbow trout. Read the agency's justification here.
This decision came in spite of the thousands of public comments from environmental organizations, tribes, elected officials, and the public, overwhelmingly opposing the plan and urging the agency to conduct an environmental impact statement, a comprehensive review of the potential impacts to wild steelhead, salmon, Southern Residents, and the overall health of Puget Sound.
Without a complete understanding or acknowledgement of those risks, the agency has once again placed their trust in Cooke Aquaculture— the same company that recently paid $2.75 million for violations of the Clean Water Act in Puget Sound— and the burden of proof on the threatened and endangered species the public has invested millions to protect.
This news is especially disappointing given the recent announcement by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, committing to transition all open water net pens from B.C. waters to land-based facilities by 2025. As of WDFW's announcement today, Washington represents the only state or jurisdiction on the entire Pacific Coast allowing this dangerous practice to continue and expand.
We challenge this decision, and in partnership with other wild fish advocates, will do so politically, legally, or scientifically. Already, the agency's action is being protested by the public, environmental groups, and tribal leaders throughout the northwest, as seen in today's Seattle Times' article.
Please join us and click here to stand up against this decision and please share with your friends and neighbors. Together we need WFDW to rethink this decision and end industrial open water net pen aquaculture in Washington once and for all.