“Not all net pens are created equal” Jamestown S’Klallam weigh into the debate

We have a historic opportunity to end Atlantic net pen aquaculture in the U.S. Salish Sea (Puget Sound, The Strait of Juan de Fuca, Hood Canal, etc.). The bills moving through the State legislature right now have momentum, strong citizen backing, and likely something will pass. Voices that need to be heard, and are weighing in on this issue, are those of the Tribes,  who co-manage the aquaculture resources in the State, as well as use them for religious purposes. If you learn anything from working with them, remember this: The Tribes are not a single voice, but many voices. Recently, Kurt Grinnell weighed in on behalf of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Kurt has been managing the Tribes aquaculture resources for many years. I have personally worked with Kurt in filming for the Tribe over many years for “Voices of the Strait” and “Treaty Resources”. I respect his point of view. Some may differ from him. But Kurt brings decades of real world experience in managing resources. He is a person that has embraced technology and innovation. He understands markets and the environment.

Our role right now is to finish the work in ending the in water farming of Atlantic salmon in these waters. Whether the technology of net pens is valid or not, should not be the issue. We need to get these non native fish out of our waters first. Kurt’s points, in the article below, are that perhaps there is a place for the technology of net pens in the future. Likely, in my opinion, it will be upland, closed containers, as that technology matures (which it is not, today).  Let’s focus on the goal at hand, rid our waters of this non native fish, and then focus on whether the technology can be used effectively or not. Maybe it can’t. But I’m willing to continue to favor letting Kurt and the Jamestown S’Klallam work to find out if it can.


The question is whether we want to import fish from countries where farmed seafood is unregulated, or whether we want to do our due diligence and use the best that science and technology have to offer in order to grow fish safely and sustainably in our own country.

I suggest that anyone wanting to see more about what the Jamestown S’Klallam are doing to research new ways of doing aquaculture take a moment and view the short film I did a few years ago for them on the Point Whitney facility.

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