Hello? Puget Sound Partnership? – Guest Blog on Salish Sea Communications

I think Pete speaks for many of us, very frustrated at the endless planning and prioritization sessions that the Partnership foists on us. In the end, we need more money on the ground, being spent on a wide range of projects and education of the population.

Hello?  Puget Sound Partnership?  Do you suppose you could take a little break from meetings and planning and strategizing and round up some ammunition to send my way?

http://salishseacommunications.blogspot.com/2017/11/hello-puget-sound-partnership.html

Near- and Offshore Finfish Aquaculture Poses Risks to the Environment and Public Health – John Hopkins University

New report just in from the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at John Hopkins University. Follow the links below for the full transcript of the report.


Expanding the nearshore finfish industry or establishing an offshore industry in the United States carries significant risks to aquatic ecosystems and public health, according to a report published today by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health and Engineering.

Near- and offshore finfish aquaculture (NOFA) is a method of fish production that occurs in net pens or cages with free exchange of water with the surrounding environment. Although there are currently very few US NOFA operations, some stakeholders have expressed interest in developing the industry in US state and federal waters.

The report assesses whether an expanded industry in the US would be environmentally sound and safe based on current production practices. The research team found the major issues surrounding NOFA to be: large numbers of recent farmed fish escapes, infectious disease outbreaks on farms, development of drug resistant parasites and bacteria, persistence of veterinary drugs in the environment, fish waste causing local and regional ecosystem impacts, and dangers that could cause elevated rates of injury and death among workers. The research team notes that some of these issues can be minimized or addressed with improved regulation and monitoring. Other issues, such as fish escapes and release of fish waste, are inevitable outcomes of fish farming in open water systems as currently practiced.

“The recent net pen breach of more than 160,000 farmed Atlantic salmon near Puget Sound is an illustrative example of how things can go wrong with these kinds of operations,” said Jillian Fry, PhD, director of the Public Health & Sustainable Aquaculture Project at CLF and faculty member in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering. “Globally, many millions of fish have escaped net pen farms. Unfortunately, this is not a new problem to fish farming in coastal or ocean waters.”

Proponents of increasing NOFA operations in the US commonly highlight improvements in specific production practices, but it is often unclear how widely improvements have been adopted. Researchers say the tendency to rely upon the application of existing laws, instead of creating a new regulatory system specifically for aquaculture, has led to regulatory gaps. As a result, many risks described in the report are not adequately monitored or addressed under current US law.

The authors further state that to reduce the potential for conflicts of interest, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which oversees these finfish operations with other federal agencies, should separate their roles of policy and regulatory development from that of industry promotion. They are concerned that the current situation could lead to decisions that favor industry growth and profitability at the expense of protections for ecosystems and public health.

“Putting NOFA operations in the Gulf of Mexico and other regions is expected to be increasingly risky due to severe weather events associated with climate change. The regulations we currently have in place are simply not designed to effectively handle these risks,” said Fry. “Based on the studies included in our report, NOAA should not approve new operations or implement new permitting in additional regions of the US until the recommendations we’ve outlined are fully implemented.”

Ecosystem and Public Health Risks from Near- and Offshore Finfish Aquaculture and Policy Changes Needed to Address Current Risks” was written by Jillian P. Fry, David C. Love, and Gabriel Innes.

Canadian environmental activist and documentary filmmaker Twyla Roscovich found dead

The incredible short life of Twyla Roscovich has ended in Campbell River, B.C. Twyla was the documentary filmmaker who worked with biologist/activist Alex Morton to create the documentary “Salmon Confidential”.

 

The post on Facebook said that foul play was not suspected at this time. Twyla went missing last week, as she headed down island to see medical specialists. Her car was found at the Quadra Island Ferry parking lot in Campbell River.

Twyla leaves a four year old daughter who was with her father at the time of Twyla’s disappearance. A Go Fund me site was created to help fund future educational needs of her daughter. This is the link to it.

You can support the legacy of Twyla by watching her movies, sharing them and never eating farmed salmon. It’s time to end this destructive industry forever. It is destroying salmon runs around the world, both here and in South America, Norway, Scotland and other places, along with pouring millions of gallons of anti-biotics into the sea. Just say no to farmed fish. Always ask your wait person whether the salmon they are serving is wild or farmed. They will know.

Resist propaganda by the fish farming industry and the aquaculture industry (who is fighting any regulations on aquaculture, even though it’s not shellfish). Paid spokespeople for the industry attend Marine Resource Committee meetings  in the north Sound as part of the mix of shoreline industries with a stake in making our waters clean. The industry does much good work in helping pass laws that protect our waters, as they are major employers in our rural counties.  I am not here to damn them entirely. But I have been the target, and have listened to their people denounce Alex Morton and her work, along with politicians that oppose them, such as ex-Commissioner Phil Johnson. They come on as bullies, talking over and down to anyone who questions them, but just remember that if they weren’t being paid by their industry, they wouldn’t likely bother to show up. Just tune them out, and challenge them when they attack anyone who tries to regulate or discuss regulating the farmed fish industry. It’s just fake news.

We call on Governor Inslee and the State House and Senate to watch this film and take action to permanently ban all future in water fish farms in Washington waters. There is new technology available to put fish farms in tanks on land. That should be the way forward.

I am crushed to hear of this woman’s death. She was dedicating her life to create a better world for herself, her daughter and the rest of us, especially those in British Columbia. We are all lessened by her passing. Go in peace, Twyla Roscovich.

Northwest farmers urge Trump administration to sidestep salmon protection rules – AP

Ah yes, some of the folks in Eastern Washington and Idaho, people who’s livelihood was created by the tax payer funded dam projects that irrigated the dry eastern side of our state are back wanting the Feds to kill off the remaining runs of salmon for their short term benefits. These people, who have continued to complain for decades about the intrusion of the very government that created the dams and their farms, now wants it’s help again. This time to overrule the laws that protect our remaining runs of salmon. One of the big supporters of these folks has been Rush Limbaugh, among other radical right wing folks. You can bet your bottom dollar that if this committee ever comes to fruition, there will be not a single environmental representative on it.

A group that represents farmers is calling the costs of saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest unsustainable and is turning to the Trump administration to sidestep endangered species laws. The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association wants the government to convene a Cabinet-level committee with the power to allow exemptions to the Endangered Species Act. Known as the “God squad” because its decisions can lead to extinctions of threatened wildlife, it has only gathered three times — the last 25 years ago during a controversy over spotted owl habitat in the Northwest. Keith Ridler reports. (Associated Press)

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/trump-administration-urged-to-avoid-salmon-protection-rules/

Environmental Penalties Down Under President Trump – NPR

This should come as a surprise to no one. This president and his inept band of anti-science vandals, are hell-bent on reversing decades of protection of our air, water and earth. But we need to document the damage they are causing by not enforcing the laws of both Republican and Democratic legacy.

Since President Trump took office in January, enforcement of environmental laws has dropped dramatically, compared with past administrations. A study released by the Environmental Integrity Project finds that $12 million in civil penalties have been collected from violators in 26 cases between January and the end of July….  That’s significantly less than the number of cases prosecuted and the penalties collected under the same six month period by the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations. Greg Allen reports. (NPR)

http://www.opb.org/news/article/npr-environmental-penalties-down-under-president-trump/

Climate Activists in Pacific Northwest Fight Construction of World’s Largest Methanol Refinery – Green Currents

Highly controversial proposal at the mouth of one of most important ecological river deltas.

Climate activists in the Pacific Northwest have rallied against a tsunami of fossil export proposals over the last five years:  coal, oil and the latest, petrochemical projects. The fight against a proposal to build the world’s largest methanol refinery on the banks of the Columbia River using fracked gas may be their biggest fight to date. Martha Baskin reports. (Green Currents)

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40900-climate-activists-in-pacific-northwest-fight-construction-of-world-s-largest-methanol-refinery

So… after Paris, now what?

I doubt that anyone reading this hasn’t heard that the President of the 2nd largest polluting nation in the world has decided to walk away from a voluntary agreement to reduce greenhouse gases in the face of irrefutable proof that the earth is heading towards disaster within the lifetime of people alive now. He did this by saying he “supports the environment”, which one? And exactly how?

If this was an asteroid heading towards Earth, I doubt he would be equivocating. And if 99 engineers told him that if he drove his car across a certain bridge that it would fall down, would he pile his kids and wife into his limo and head off across? As Sally Field as “momma” told Forest Gump so clearly, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

So now, we go on without the federal government’s support. We can do that, we must do it and we will do it. Real leaders, not the fake ones in the White House and the EPA, have stood up and declared they will. Our Governor Jay Inslee, Oregon and California’s governors, Bloomberg in NYC, ex-Governor of California Arnold Schwartznegger and many many others are committing to simply go around and through the Federal Government.

The President has abrogated his primary role, which is to protect the people of the United States from harm and protect the Constitution. It will be meaningless to protect the constitution if the planet dies. His scientific brain trust and numerous business leaders advised him not to pull out of the agreement. Our allies and religious leaders did too.Add to this, his office of Emergency Management, during the beginning of this hurricane season, still is without a leader. .Mr Trump spends more time tweeting  at 6 AM  than actually doing something about filling key roles in his administration. His lack of leadership and his filling his closest ranks with traitors to this country, people who lack the moral compass to not fraternize with the enemy behind the backs of our own intelligence community is unprecedented. In making the announcement the other day, he had he nerve to say he “represented Pittsburg” when he lost Pittsburg to Hillary Clinton by almost 80 to 20%. He is a habitual liar and a small percentage of the American people believe him all the time.

So stay calm and carry on. This too will pass. And let’s find a leader for 2020 that can win in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin before the Republicans realize that Trump is more of a liability than an asset and impeach him. In the meantime there is a lot of work to do.

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