Port Townsend Leader Apologizes to Ex-Commissioner Phil Johnson on net pen issue

In an editorial today, Alison Arthur apologized to former county commissioner Phil Johnson, whom the Leader once recommended to ‘move on’ on the issue of net pens and declare the issue resolved. Phil never did. Now we have the ecological disaster that he predicted might happen. While I was the chair of the Jefferson County Marine Resource Committee Phil (who as county commissioner was often present to inform and educate us on his efforts) and I constantly had to fight the aquaculture representative who continually downplayed any problem with net pens,  would engage in character assassination of Alexandra Morton in Canada (the leader of the anti-net pen coalition) and his constant belittling of concerned scientists and Phil for their concerns about  the net pen issues. Phil shrugged it off as pure industry propaganda. Phil realized that any possible threat to reigning in any aspect of aquaculture, even one as harmful as net pens,  will elicit an attack by the industry. Their PR machine is extremely well oiled. Back in Washington, D.C. they spent tens of thousands of dollars last year making sure that their would be minimal regulation on expansion of their industry.

Thanks to the Leader for being big enough to realize it had made a mistake in asking Phil to give up on this issue.


One Response

  1. All of the warnings Phil Johnson gave have come true with the latest fiasco of the Atlantic salmon net pen “accidental” release of thousands of farmed salmon. He knew the dangers, yet a lot of folks “pooh poohed” him for being too paranoid or against “creating jobs.”

    My hat goes off to Phil for being such a visionary and tremendous environmentalist concerned with the welfare of our waters, fish, and human health!

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