Pacific Seafood has proposed a sea cage operations on the Strait of Juan de Fuca 20 miles west of Port Angeles. The site is proposed to produce up to 5000 lbs of Steelhead or Atlantic Salmon.
The site, between the Lyre and the Twin rivers, will take up 180 acres of sea space, The spot is two miles west of the Twin and 3 miles east of the Lyre.
The cages will be anchored between 50 and 150 feet deep, in open exposed waters. An alternative site is in the lee of Pillar Point, 8 miles west.
The plan at present calls for up to 1.7 Million fish (depending on species) to be caged at the site.
It is unclear where this proposal sits with the county. It appears to be a new proposal. The timing, as the county prepares it’s SMP, is interesting, to say the least. The ability of this site to create a problem with sea lice is pointed out in the company’s documentation, but dismissed as being easy to fix with freshwater. If it were that simple, you would think that British Columbia wouldn’t be up in arms over this issue. Coming on the heels of opening up the Elwha to replenish wild stocks, this seems to be an ill timed proposal, to say the least.
Coincidentally today, this reporter was interviewing Jim McEntire, who is running for Clallam County Commissioner, a role that would be very influential in approving these pens. He was not asked specifically about this proposal, but about netpens in general, and he said that he did not know ‘a lot about net pens. We were talking specifically about the possibility of supporting moving netpens onshore, as is being discussed in Jefferson County…
“ I don’t know if it’s a question of scale… if you have multiple locations that it is a way to avoid some of the environmental downsides.’ Jim went on to say that understanding the business model issues in this was important as, “in no way am I wanting to choke off any kind of commercial activity. The question becomes how to best do it, to minimize the effects.”
I was unable to get input from Linda Barnfarther or Steve Tharinger prior to posting this news.
More news on this as it becomes available. We hope to get more feedback on this tomorrow.
Filed under: Puget Sound |