INPUT NEEDED: State Ecology Netpen Guidelines being updated – March 4 deadline

New commercial fish farm (net pen) management tools being are developed by the Department of Ecology:

Provide your input on project scoping by March 4

Washington’s 30-year old management guidelines for commercial, marine fish farms (net pens) are getting an overhaul. (This is not about whether net pens are to be allowed or not, it’s about updating best practices management of the pens).

Ecology has partnered with the state departments of Fish & Wildlife and Agriculture, and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science to write new management recommendations useful for the industry and coastal managers – including state and local government regulators.

The project is designed to provide up-to-date information on this use and better understand the concern of citizens. Results will help ensure any new facilities are sited and operated consistent with current science and modern management practices. It is not designed to determine whether or not future net pens will be allowed (See Frequently Asked Questions).

The planning team is just getting started, and they want your input

The multi-year project is just getting underway and you are invited to provide input on early decisions made by the project team. Two documents are available for review and comment.

  1. A summary of draft scoping decisions that describes early decisions made by the team regarding:
  • Geographic and topical scope
  • Scientific and technical review
  • Outreach and opportunities for interested parties to influence the outcome


  1. A writing outline that will guide the project team through fact-finding and identification of suitable safeguards and management practices. The team is especially interested in feedback on topics you would like to see addressed in the final document.


View and download these documents on the project website.

Comments accepted now through March 4.


Submit input to:

Ms. Cedar Bouta

Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program

WA Dept. of Ecology

P.O. Box 47600

Lacey, WA 98504-7600.



Visit the project webpage to learn more.

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Fisheries minister to announce protection for ancient glass sponge reefs – CBC via Vancouver Sun

Good news! And a good reason to continue creating Marine Protected Areas here.

Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc is expected to announce today a long-awaited Marine Protected Area for Canada’s rare glass sponge reefs, found on the B.C. coast. The kind of glass sponge found in B.C. was thought to have died off 40 million years ago, before the discovery of fragile living reefs in Hecate Strait, near Haida Gwaii, in 1987…. A Marine Protected Area is a zone in the ocean designated by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans with tighter regulations, meant to conserve and protect something endangered, unique or ecologically important. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

See also: BC: Fishermen to fight feds over expected ban near Hecate Strait reefs Rick Eagland reports. (Vancouver Sun)

Incredible new film from the BC Coast

Filmmaker Tavish Campbell has published an astonishingly beautiful ode to the B.C. coast. Take three minutes, go full screen, and watch one of the best new films I’ve seen in a while. Congratulations to Tavish for just doing a spectacular job.


Group in Port Townsend stands against Dakota Access Pipeline – PDN

The protests continued this weekend to show discontent with the funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline. While it’s clear that divestment at large scale national and regional levels, like Seattle divesting in Well Fargo this week, will make the people at the headquarters take notice (and maybe do something), It’s hard to understand how demanding local people move their banking is going to actually help. What would be the consequences if the protests worked here? The banks would likely pull out of the town, and the middle class jobs of the tellers would be lost.

I don’t disagree that Chase and W.F., among others, divest from DAPL, but I’m not convinced that tactics like these do anything constructive.

The real issue that could be attacked is the millions of investors that pour their money into the stocks of these Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs). MLPs have been a special class of stocks that require the companies that qualify for them to divest their profits to shareholders, rather than retain them. They have been used heavily by the pipeline and fracking companies in the last ten years.

According to Fidelity, “An individual master limited partnership passes through income and any other distribution to shareholders untaxed, which makes them great yield vehicles.”  These complex investments require tax professionals to help investors understand how to properly account for their distributions. The MLPs have been an enormously profitable investment over the last decade, and many people may have money in them without totally understanding their underlying products, such as the DAPL.

Getting investors to understand that MLPs are behind the pipelines crossing America and asking them to disinvest would be far more useful than protesting against local banks in the hopes that people would move their banking. And also, getting people to understand that using natural gas, while a valid alternative to coal to lower greenhouse emissions, also carries it’s own issues of greenhouse gases, and pollution to rivers and watersheds through fracking.

PORT TOWNSEND — More than 30 people protested along Sims Way in Port Townsend on Saturday, urging people to divest their money from Wells Fargo and Chase banks due to the banks’ connections to the recently revived Dakota Access Pipeline.

Marine Harvest buys $35m vessel to reduce medicinal use on farms – Undercurrent News

While this is a bit old, from last summer, it’s relevant to new discussions getting underway by the Department of Ecology on updating net pen management. The net pen industry continues to claim that there is no harm in net pens, however it is clear there is a need to reduce “medicinal use” (read anti-biotics) that the industry continues to dump into our waterways.

In an effort to reduce medicinal use at its farmed salmon operations, Marine Harvest Canada has invested $35 million in a boat that will provide “environmentally healthy fish health treatments” for its farms in British Columbia, the company said in a release.

B.C.’s invasive species warriors tackle turtles, knotweed, climate change and critics – CBC

Interesting to note this is happening while Congress is working to allow bilge water to be dumped in Puget Sound.

Invasive species experts have gathered in Richmond to strategize strikes against everything from Japanese knotweed to American bullfrogs with the only weapon that works — cooperation. The Invasive Species Council of B.C. (ISCBC) works to stop foreign plants and animals from taking over ecosystems in the province. With increased trade and travel and warmer winters, organizers say they face more challenges than ever controlling destructive invaders. Yvette Brend reports. (CBC)


Ballast Water Bill Could Allow Invasive Species to enter Puget Sound – Watching Our Waterways

The first of a likely long list of outrages by the Trump Regime. Want to do something? Call the legislatures in Congress and demand this not happen.

Invasive species from San Francisco Bay — known as the most infested waterway in the country — would have an open door for entry into Puget Sound under a bill moving through Congress… If VIDA [Vessel Incidental Discharge Act]  passes, ships coming up the coast from California will be able to take on infested ballast water in San Francisco Bay and discharge it without treatment into Puget Sound. Invasive species that hitched a ride in the ballast water would have a chance to populate Puget Sound. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Ballast water bill could allow invasive species to enter Puget Sound 

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