State taking comment on permits for Atlantic salmon fish farms – PDN

Get your comments in now.

How to provide comments

We will accept comments from Dec. 27, 2018 until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2019.

Online (preferred): Submit your comments through our online comments form.
By mail: Rich Doenges
Washington State Department of Ecology
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504

The state Department of Ecology is taking comment now on permits for four Cooke Aquaculture Atlantic salmon farms — three in Kitsap County and one in Skagit Bay. Farming Atlantic salmon in net pens is officially banned from Puget Sound starting in 2022. Ecology is using the investigation from the 2017 Cypress Island net pen collapse to mandate more protective permit requirements. Cooke Aquaculture, the only company farming Atlantic salmon in Washington state, lost its lease in Port Angeles in 2017. Ecology is accepting comments on the permit through Feb. 25 and will make a final determination after reviewing them. Information on the draft permit, and a link to comment online, is available here. (Peninsula Daily News)

State taking comment on permits for Atlantic salmon fish farms

Salmon Coalition celebrates decade-long project – PDN

While I miss the old 3 Crabs Restaurant, the recovery of the estuary of the Dungeness is far more important. In addition to NOSC, we should be aware that the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe along with the Dungeness River Managment Team has been extremely important to project management and stakeholder buy in.

For a good overview of the restoration issues with the Dungeness River, you can also view the 15 minute film I made with the Jamestown S’Klallam, the DRMT and others back in 2013. It will give you a good overview of the entirety of the project, along with a number of the people responsible for it’s restoration.

The North Olympic Salmon Coalition honored 10 years of work and partnerships made along the way in its 3 Crabs nearshore and estuarine restoration project at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the estuary off 3 Crabs Road earlier this month…. This restoration project is one of many NOSC has implemented in areas throughout the Olympic Peninsula. It was made possible by 29 stakeholders and supporters involved in the project. Erin Hawkins reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Salmon Coalition celebrates decade-long project

The latest numbers on shoreline armoring- Puget Sound Institute

Good news!

Washington state has released the latest statistics for Puget Sound’s shoreline armoring Vital Sign, comparing armoring creation and removal in 2017….The numbers, released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Puget Sound Partnership, show that removal of armoring has increased steadily since 2005. At the same time, a study of construction permits showed that new armoring was outpaced by removal in 2014, 2016 and 2017, with 2017 being the strongest year on record for this trend.

Read the whole story here:

Groups: U.S. must consider how coastal salmon fishing hurts orcas – AP

Would have to agree with this assessment. There has been no science done to clearly understand whether or not this industry could be better managed specifically for supporting increasing Chinook numbers in the short term.

The federal government is violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to consider how salmon fishing off the West Coast is affecting endangered killer whales, two conservation groups said Tuesday as they threatened a lawsuit.The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity and the Washington state-based Wild Fish Conservancy notified President Donald Trump’s administration they intend to file a lawsuit within 60 days unless officials reevaluate whether the fishing further jeopardizes orcas that frequent the inland waters of the Pacific Northwest. Gene Johnson reports. (Associated Press)

Groups: U.S. must consider how salmon fishing hurts orcas


Test your herring knowledge

I was hoping to be able to fit in the title, “Test your herring aide” but it just wouldn’t quite work. A fascinating read that can help you better understand the relationship and issues facing one of the cornerstone species for salmon, seals and many other predators that we know and love. Those of us in working in the world of habitat recovery and protection, such as the NGO that I am associated with, Sound Action, are focused on protecting the nearshore where many of these species breed. As you will read from this report, the story is very complex. Solutions to the problem are going to be very difficult to implement in a meaningful way. The Governor’s new Orca Recovery program does address some of this, by requesting Fish and Wildlife to be more aggressive in their efforts to protect remaining habitat. We’ve been waiting for that for a long time.

One of the first steps in protecting any species is understanding as much as you can about it. When it comes to Pacific herring in the Salish Sea, much is known but until recently many of the key scientific findings about the species had not been gathered together in a single place. A new state of the knowledge report published by the Puget Sound Institute and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is a step toward remedying that.The report, “Assessment and Management of Salish Sea Herring” was prepared with support from a grant from the SeaDoc Society. It will be used to advance herring conservation in the region, including potential herring recovery work related to the state’s Pacific herring ‘Vital Sign’. Herring are also a critical food source for many species such as Chinook salmon, which in turn feed Puget Sound’s endangered orcas. Tessa Francis of the Puget Sound Institute and Dayv Lowry of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife were the principle investigators on the report and received input from a cross-border team from state and federal agencies, universities and area tribes. (Puget Sound Institute)

Test your herring knowledge 

State discusses killing seals and sea lions in Puget Sound

Perhaps the most controversial idea out of the Orca task force has been the notion of killing sea lions and seals to help salmon survive. Like many ideas, this one is simplistic and has the greatest appeal to people who don’t want to spend much time thinking about whether something works or just makes you feel like you are doing something. Fish and Wildlife are holding meetings to gather information on whether or not this really is an idea with merit. Biologists who study the food chain aren’t so sure. If you think you already know the answer, then you should read this article. “There is no guarantee of a response by the salmon in terms of returning adults.” And you know what an assumption is, it’s a word made up of and makes an “ass of u and me”. Let’s put the science of this in it’s rightful place, which is at the head of the train and not tow it along in our ill informed wake.

State wildlife commissioners heard testimony Friday about whether a seal and sea lion cull could help save salmon, and thereby restore food to the starving Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW)…. “It’s important to set the stage that this occurs in a very complex ecosystem and it is a very complex food web,” said WDFW Research Scientist Scott Pearson…. “If you want a 25 percent reduction in the total juvenile Chinook consumption by seals, we have to reduce this number of 19,000 seals down to 14,300. If you subtract this number from this number, that’s how many we have to remove 4,700 seals, and we have to annually remove 530 seals per year to keep it at that level,” Pearson said. But the problem is, salmon also face a slew of other challenges, including hydropower, hatcheries, habitat, disease, and contaminants. Scientists told commissioners they don’t know whether killing seals and sea lions will do anything at all…. “In my opinion, even if the seal consumption were somehow reduced or eliminated, there is no guarantee of a response by the salmon in terms of returning adults,” said WDFW Research Scientist Joe Anderson. Alison Morrow reports. (KING) See also: Puget Sound resident orcas limited by social behavior  Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

State discusses killing seals and sea lions in Puget Sound 

Washington Senate investigating harassment allegation against Sen. Kevin Ranker – Seattle Times

In a shocking revelation, it has been reported that State Senator Kevin Ranker, of Orcas Island, and one of the environmental leaders in the Senate, is under investigation for sexual harassment of a legislative aide. The aide, who has come forward and is helping the investigation, worked for Senator Ranker when he was a county councilman and in his first year in office in the Senate. According to the aide, they had a consensual relationship that turned sour around the time that he was elected to the Senate. The former aide, Ann Larson, still works in state government.

From the Times story, the issue does not appear to be revolving around the consensual relationship, but about how the relationship ended and her treatment after she began working for him in his district office. The charges stem from a hostile workplace and sexual harassment charges.

Senator Ranker has been often considered the legislative bulldog championing global warming, oil spill protection, banning Atlantic salmon fish farms, Orca protection and many other causes. Senator Ranker is cooperating fully with the investigation.

Read the rest of the story at

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