Governor Signs Ban on Atlantic Salmon


Grateful for all the legislators, tribal leaders and environmentalists who backed and pushed this through. Sad that it took a disaster to get this done, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. Now the lawsuits begin, and Tim Eyman is apparently going to try and get an initiative put in place to overturn this.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/

The whole bill language is here.

http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/House%20Passed%20Legislature/2957.PL.pdf

4 Responses

  1. Jim, it was never about correcting the ‘salmon shortage’ and sorry if you somehow got that impression. These salmon were never destined for the Orcas, they were destined for a supermarket, and you can still buy all you want in any store around. This was about a self regulated industry (given that ability when the Republicans controlled legislature ages ago), that did not regulate itself well at all. Additionally, the taxpayers of this State and the Federal government are spending tens of millions of dollars over decades to restore our wild fish and the presence of these identified non native species puts our wild fish at risk. Just look at what has happened north of us. Additionally, the science to support you and I subsidizing this industry was never fully fleshed out. I could go on for a long time on this topic, I’ve been fighting the industry for over a decade. You should read up on the topic to get more fully informed, rather than assume that this is a ‘knee-jerk” reaction. It is supported by both conservative (in the old school meaning of that word) and liberal fishermen, scientists, tribal members, and on and on. The only people that are against this are the 80 or so people who’s jobs are on the line in this state who work for the industry. We once had a resource so numerous it seemed like it would never end, and over harvesting, destruction of habitat, and many other factors have led us to this place. It’s time to focus on native species, get rid of the various feedlot scenarios that have never, ever been fully studied by science, and get back to work on the fish we want to restore.

    • Thanks for the informative response Al. I admit my interest/involvement has been very shallow. I know the farmed Atlantic salmon are a genetic blend and true wild Atlantic salmon are essentially extinct. However, I do not understand the “disaster” of escaped farmed salmon except for food competition. It is expensive for the farm operation to have fish escape. Perhaps my biggest question is why the farms do not use native fingerlings/stock from hatcheries excess hatch? (Yes that does occur). Perhaps my “knee-jerk” comment was a little strong, but when I see the major loss of salmon to predators, (many who are protected) I tend to be judgmental. There have been a couple of periods of unexpectedly large salmon returns in the last few years (and these can be roughly correlated to incidents that have been referred to as “environmental disasters”. Again thanks for the info.

      • The correlation of large salmon returns is not exact, nor related to net pen Atlantic salmon, from what I know. I have been told it is more due to open ocean conditions. However, it’s worth really reading a lot of the pros and cons on this issue. It’s not simple, nor given to sound bites. Having an open mind is as good a tool to bring to this discussion as one can. It is worth remembering that we the taxpayers subsidize the net pen industry with our waters and with our native stocks, if it comes to a situation where the net pens infect them with a virus vectored in the pens (a simple problem to encounter). Is it worth the trade off given 80 or so jobs and profits that accrue elsewhere, to a company that will simply move away if they create the disaster? Not in my mind, nor the minds of the people who have used this disaster to finally bring this industry to a halt here. Be aware that they operate with impunity and lies across the globe, from Norway, to BC to Chile, and in every location, they have brought disease and radically reduced stocks of wild fish. The story is quite depressing, but worth reading given your apparent interest. Watching Alexandra Morton’s great documentary on the issues with BC fish stocks is a good, free starting point. All the best. Keep a open mind.

  2. Very sad to see the less than brilliant knee-jerk reaction which will do very little to correct the salmon shortage – whale starving problem! Misdirection of cause/blame may make a lot of activists a warm, fuzzy feeling in thinking that they are accomplishing something but the track record shows almost zilch results, indeed perhaps even decline.

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