Wild Fish Conservancy intends to sue EPA, NMFS over farmed salmon in Puget Sound

Very glad to see the Wild Fish Conservency take this preliminary action to begin the notification of their intent to sue Federal government agencies over their evauations of the endangered species act. If you want to see farmed salmon banned in Puget Sound, you might want to donate to the Conservancy to help their lawsuit.

Tuesday August 25, 2015- Today, Wild Fish Conservancy sent a 60-day Notice of Intent to sue the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) associated with the agencies’ evaluation of the harmful effects to threatened salmonids from commercial salmon farming in Puget Sound.

In 2008, EPA consulted with NMFS under section 7 of the ESA on the effects of revisions to Washington Sediment Management Standards intended to enable commercial salmon farms in Puget Sound to be permitted under the Clean Water Act.  Despite the known harm and significant risks these facilities pose to wild salmonids, NMFS determined that EPA’s action is not likely to adversely affect protected species. The ESA consultation thus concluded without preparation of a biological opinion that would fully evaluate the effects of salmon farms and impose monitoring and other requirements designed to protect wild salmonids.

Wild Fish Conservancy challenged the 2008 consultation as insufficient under the ESA.  The Court found the 2008 consultation inadequate and set aside EPA’s approval of the revised Sediment Management Standards and further ordered EPA and NMFS to reconsider whether preparation of a biological opinion is required.

EPA reinitiated ESA consultation with NMFS in 2010.  Remarkably, NMFS again determined that the Puget Sound commercial salmon farms are not likely to adversely affect threatened salmonids and declined to prepare a biological opinion.
IHN Bainbridge
In May of 2012, there was a major outbreak of the infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus(IHNV) at the commercial salmon complexes near Rich Passage at the southern end of Bainbridge Island.  The outbreak occurred at a time when juvenile salmonids were migrating through the nearshore environment near the commercial salmon facilities. It can hardly be disputed that this disease outbreak adversely affected threatened salmonids—or, at a minimum, demonstrates that commercial salmon farms in Puget Sound may adversely affect ESA-listed species.

“Atlantic salmon farms pose an unacceptable health risk to ESA-listed wild salmon in Puget Sound,” said Kurt Beardslee, executive director of Wild Fish Conservancy.  “By not fully evaluating the impacts of these farms, EPA and NMFS are in clear violation of the Endangered Species Act.”

The groups are represented by Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC, in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR.

Court Filing: 60 Day Notice of Intent to Sue Letter, August 25, 2015

http://wildfishconservancy.org/about/press-room/press-releases/environmental-protection-agency-national-marine-fisheries-service-violating-endangered-species-act

Should You Install Solar Panels on Your Roof? Let Google Help You Decide. – Slate

This is an interesting application from Google to help you determine whether solar will be worth it for you.

Google’s been busy rebranding itself as a 21st-century jack-of-all-trades. On Monday, it announced a revolutionary way of finding an easy answer to one of the most difficult questions for climate-conscious homeowners: Should I install solar panels?

Google_project_sunroof_an_astoundingly_simple_way_to_get_started_with_solar

Dungeness River Fish Passage Video

An update on the efforts to allow returning salmon to get up the Dungeness River. Thanks to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, who continue to show leadership and dedication to saving the historic runs of fish on the river that their people have fished forever. This is the effects of our inability to deal with the root causes of climate change, which is out of control fossil fuel use.

Dungeness River Fish Passage 2015C from NW Indian Fisheries Commission on Vimeo.

State fines Brinnon boat owner more than $16,000 for spill after sinking; DNR presents $123,446 bill for vessel’s recovery – PDN

An unfortunate set of events, both for the owner, and taxpayers that had to pay to have it towed away and dismantled.

The state Department of Ecology has fined the owner of Avalon, a 1929 wooden purse seiner, $16,244 after it sank and spilled diesel near Brinnon on Sept. 14. The owner, Randall Schleich, 56, of Brinnon, said he plans to partially contest the ruling, although he said he doesn’t have the resources to hire legal counsel and accepts responsibility for the spill. “I am going to contest it because I can’t afford to pay it,” he said. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150816/NEWS/308169980/state-fines-brinnon-boat-owner-more-than-16000-for-spill-after

Volunteers provide crucial surveys of sea stars to monitor a mysterious, devastating disease – Everett Herald

I’ve not seen an article on the sea star wasting disease issue lately. Here’s a short update.

Touching sea stars sheltering during low tide will reveal not sturdy, sandpiper skin but a soft and pulpy texture with white and oozing lesions, its limp, weakened rays and strained tube feet unable to grasp at craggy surfaces.  But what has caused such a gruesome change in our ochre sea stars?

Will the sea stars ever be able to recover?http://www.islandsweekly.com/news/319471421.html Anna Meyer reports. (Islands’ Weekly)

Biotoxin infesting part of Hood Canal usually free of it – PDN

Warning for those of you going out to do some shellfish gathering.

…. The Department of Health found high levels of the marine biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning in Hood Canal early this summer, leading the state to close several beaches in Jefferson and Mason counties to shellfish harvest, many for the first time. Aria Shephard Bull reports. (Kitsap Sun)

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/biotoxin-infesting-part-of-hood-canal-usually-free-of-it_77950401

See also: More shellfish harvest closures in effect in Clallam County; shut areas stretch from Cape Flattery to Jefferson line http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150816/NEWS/308169987/more-shellfish-harvest-closures-in-effect-in-clallam-county-shut (Peninsula Daily News)

Interest flags in pink salmon fishery at Dungeness River mouth after number of returning fish turns out lower – PDN

I’ve shot video on the small group of tribal fishermen that work the beaches at the mouth of the Dungeness. They are out at dawn and often working hard to catch a few fish. It appears that this year will be a washout for them. The fish just aren’t returning in numbers large enough to warrant going out.

Interest has waned in a pink salmon fishery at the mouth of the Dungeness River now that the numbers originally expected haven’t developed, said the natural resources director for the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe. The beach seine fishery, in which weighted nets are used to pull fish to shore, was developed by co-managers of the Jamestown S’Klallam, Port Gamble S’Klallam and Point No Point Treaty Council and approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to weed out some of the 1.3 million pinks expected to return this season, said Scott Chitwood on Friday. Leah Leach reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150816/news/308169973/interest-flags-in-pink-salmon-fishery-at-dungeness-river-mouth-after

See also: Crews deepen channels to help struggling salmon amid drought http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/crews-deepen-channels-to-help-struggling-salmon/ Hal Bernton reports. (Seattle Times)

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