Northwest Watershed Institute study suggests reason behind eagle gathering at Dabob Bay – PDN

The Peninsula Daily News has a story about a new research paper created by Peter Bahls of the Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI).  Bahls and biologist Heather Gordon wrote the paper, “Bald Eagles, Oyster Beds, and the Plainfin Midshipman: Ecological Relationships in Dabob Bay,” which explores the relationship of eagles, oyster beds and a kind of forage fish called the Plainfin Midshipman. Read this fascinating story about what new research by the NWI has shown about the relationships, and how the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe are working with the data to better protect the eagles and the spawning fish.

https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/northwest-watershed-institute-study-suggests-reason-behind-eagle-gathering-at-dabob-bay/

 

 

Video on NOAA work to breed oysters resistant to ocean acidification – Crosscut & PBS

Local PBS show ReInventors highlights the work of NOAA Manchester’s research facility as they race to find a hybrid oyster that can survive ocean acidification. A very good quick look at the problem, with animation, and the possible solution. If we are going to have seafood survive, this will likely hold the possibility. As it is currently going, we don’t have long before the oceans will be too acidic for shellfish to survive.

The story

https://crosscut.com/2018/10/can-these-super-oysters-survive-our-screwed-oceans

The video

https://youtu.be/WP8J0-90VoM

Can Olympia oysters make a comeback in Quilcene Bay? – PT Leader

Good work being done by the Jefferson Marine Resources Committee, now expanding their efforts to restore the Olympia Oyster from Dungeness Bay to Quilcene.

Many hands sought to make relatively light work out of an ambitious undertaking May 16 in Quilcene, as roughly a dozen volunteers assembled at the end of Linger Longer Road to take stock of the area’s remaining Olympia oyster population. Before over-harvesting and pulp mill pollution forced Pacific Northwest oyster farmers to turn to the Pacific oysters of Japan as a substitute, Olympia oysters were the dominant native species, and various environmental and oyster farming-affiliated groups are keen to see the molluscs make a comeback. Brian Allen, a marine ecologist with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF), instructed the volunteers who arrived at the Quilcene Boat Ramp to record not only where they found any Olympia oysters as the tide went out, but also where the oysters tend to aggregate. Kirk Boxleitner reports. (Port Townsend Leader)

Can Olympia oysters make a comeback in Quilcene Bay?

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe aims to re-establish oyster farm in Dungeness refuge – PDN

The Jamestown S’Klallam look to expand operations beyond the oyster beds currently being farmed in Sequim Bay. While this project is being opposed by two of the environmental organizations on the Peninsula, it is not being opposed by the Clallam Marine Resources Committee, which has representation of the Tribes on it, and they are actually working collaboratively with the Jamestown staff to find the existing eel grass beds and work around them. The tribe has been doing a lot of aquaculture  in Sequim Bay over the last 10 years, with an oyster farm and other activity. This has been positive, in that beyond just the job opportunities for the Tribe, it has made the Tribe extremely sensitive to cleaning up any pollution that might enter the Bay near Blyn. Their ongoing efforts to restore  chum salmon to JimmyComeLately Creek have been very successful.  The Tribe also regularly fishes and crabs at Cline Spit, the boat launch site for smaller boats in that bay on the east side of the Spit. It is unclear of whether an EIS, Hydraulic Permit Application (HPA) or other permits beyond standard State permits is needed. More on that in a later post.

SEQUIM — The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe seeks to re-establish an oyster farm in Dungeness Bay and will have its proposal heard by the Clallam County Hearing Examiner on Thursday.

The tribe’s oyster farm would be on 50 acres of leased Department of Natural Resources tideland within the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, said Ron Allen, tribal chairman. The farm would be in the bay about 4,000 feet north of Cline Spit.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/jamestown-sklallam-tribe-aims-to-re-establish-oyster-farm-in-dungeness-refuge/

Oyster-caused illnesses on Vancouver Island linked to same supplier- CBC

In case you happened to be in Tofino in November.

Island Health says norovirus is likely to blame after more than 100 people who ate raw oysters in Tofino earlier this month fell ill. Roughly 120 people, many of whom had attended the Clayoquot Oyster Festival, suffered gastro-intestinal symptoms last week. But Island Health says people got sick at more than one location, and that people reported being ill over the course of several days. They say it appears everyone who became ill consumed raw oysters from the same supplier, who is not being named. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/oyster-vancouver-island-sick-norovirus-1.3875806

Tidelands near Sequim Bay’s John Wayne Marina to be studied, seeded with native Olympia oysters – PDN

The work to restore native species continues.

Tidelands near John Wayne Marina will be studied and parts of them seeded to create a new Olympia oyster bed in Sequim Bay. In a 2-1 vote, the commissioners agreed to allow the Clallam County Marine Resources Committee to study a portion of Sequim Bay tidelands, adjacent to the south side of the jetty, and seed it with oysters beginning in 2017. Commissioners Colleen McAleer and Steve Burke voted in favor of the oyster beds, while Commissioner Connie Beauvais voted against the use of the property. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20160414/NEWS/304149984/tidelands-near-sequim-bays-john-wayne-marina-to-be-studied-seeded

Washington, NOAA launch next step of shellfish initiative – AP

Governor Inslee moves forward on more aquaculture support without spending any more money.  Locally, we support the efforts to restore Olympia Oysters, and the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee is doing so in Discovery Bay. The MRC  also support a variety of shellfish growers, and are happy that the Tribes are able to make good money selling Geoducks to China.

However, the article is accurate in that environmentalists and shoreline homeowners are very concerned over the State’s willingness to turn entire bays in the South Sound into shellfish farms, despite the fact that these beds are on beaches right in front of homes and will never really be allowed to go back to a natural state, if that’s even possible. It is important to understand that aquaculture rights were established as a priority of shoreline land use  when the State was founded. The shellfish industry has legal right to harvest on  almost all shores below extreme low tide, based on a reading of state statute RCW 79.96.010 (of course the State leases the land first), and seems willing to take as much as it can to do so, regardless of the opinions of the homeowners who’s “backyard” they are farming, or concerns of environmentalists. (this is a clarification of an earlier version of this article)

The harvesting often is late at night in the winter, and noisy enough to disrupt homeowners. Large scale netting of the beach to protect the shellfish from predators leads to birds being caught in nets, and the inability of shoreline homeowners to use their beaches. Real estate agents rarely seem to warn prospective buyers of the issue.  Lawsuits to reign in the growers expansion seem to be rarely successful. The industry is heavily regulated, and the growers need to get a variety of permits to set up a farm. Some recent Shoreline Master Plans have attempted to put some limits on shellfish growers, with little success.

Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday renewed the state’s commitment to protecting Washington’s lucrative shellfish resources. Inslee joined federal, tribal and other leaders at the National Fish & Oyster Co. in Olympia to launch the second phase of the Washington Shellfish Initiative, which former Gov. Chris Gregoire initiated in 2011. The state, working with many partners including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will take new steps to improve water quality, restore native shellfish such as Olympia oysters, improve the permitting process for shellfish-growers and promote ways to address how ocean acidification is affecting shellfish. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

http://www.kirotv.com/ap/ap/washington/washington-noaa-launch-next-step-of-shellfish-init/np6H6/

2013 NW Straits: Alexis Valauir -Ocean Acidification Effects on Global Communities

From the 2013 NW Straits Annual Conference, a most interesting talk:

Alexis Valauri-Orton recently completed a year-long Watson Fellowship investigating human narratives of ocean acidification in Norway, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Peru. Over the year, she traded her lab coat for a pair of gum boots, experiencing firsthand the role marine resources play in coastal communities. Investigating narratives of acidification in such diverse communities, she discovered the importance of understanding and navigating the social structures that shape our vulnerabilities and responses to environmental issues. She holds a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Davidson College, in North Carolina, and now lives in her hometown of Seattle. She believes increasing scientific literacy and public awareness on issues like ocean acidification is the key to creating a sustainable future.

The Powerpoints of her talk are found at the NW Straits web site:

http://www.nwstraits.org/Whats-New/Meetings-Events/2013-MRC-Conference.aspx

or directly here (This downloads the presentation to your computer)

Click to access Valauri-Orton-OA.pdf

You can download this for use on a device like an ipod or iphone, or just listen to it right here on your computer.

 

 

Warnings on oysters – Multiple sources.

Oysters are considered an aphrodisiac, but what happens to them in hot weather isn’t so sexy. Warm air and water during summer make an ideal environment for a natural bacteria called vibrio parahaemolyticus to grow in oysters. Raw oysters, especially ones with the bacteria, can make people who eat them sick. Gina Cole reports.

Raw oysters risky during warmer months  http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/raw-oysters-risky-during-warmer-months/article_67523d12-e37a-11e2-bc29-0019bb2963f4.html

See also: Be vigilant about illness from tainted commercial shellfish, B.C. doctors told http://www.vancouversun.com/news/vigilant+about+illness+from+tainted+commercial+shellfish/8608330/story.html

Highly Controversial Decision Against Point Reyes Oyster Farm- Marin Independent Journal

We here on the Olympic Peninsula and Salish Sea, aren’t the only ones dealing with the controversy over aquaculture farming. The shellfish industry is up in arms, even up here, over the ruling by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, to end the lease with Drake Bay Oyster Co. on Point Reyes. This action, if left to stand, will end with the removal of the farm, the loss of 30 jobs, and the closing of one of the last oyster farms left in California.

The controversy exists over the reading of the lease, which apparently offered the shellfish farm with the ability to renew the lease, but the Parks department is saying that is not the case.

With powerful political allies like Senator Diane Feinstein siding with the oyster company, and the shellfish industry that is planning to sue to overturn the decision, I don’t think we have heard the end of this issue.

The bizarre part of this, is that the decision allows continued ranching and farming within the park, which one could argue would be vastly more destructive to the land than a small oyster farm operation. Also, given that the decision came just after the election, that this was in the works for months, with the election holding back the decision.

It is hard to understand the science behind this decision. These decisions often are not based in sound science, as witnessed by the NOAA decision last year to push whale watch boats even farther away from the Orcas in the San Juans. Having read the science behind the decision, I have to feel that there was more politics at play than reasonable science based decision making.

In the notion of “following the money”, it would be interesting to know who owns the ranches that were granted the free ride, and whether those people donated to any major political campaigns or not.

http://www.marinij.com/basketball/ci_22090541/drakes-bay-oyster-company-will-have-leave

Taylor Shellfish Denied Mussel Farm Expansion in Thurston County

Thurston County Commissioners have denied Taylor Shellfish’s mussel farm permit because cumulative impacts were not adequately considered. This doesn’t seem to mean that Taylor cannot come back with more data. The refusal had to do with not presenting what the Hearing Examiner, a lawyer by trade, felt was compelling cumulative impacts of the proposed farm.

The legal precedent behind this decision appears to have been from a variety of already resolved lawsuits, including one by the coalition of a group of six citizen organizations that have been fighting the expansion of shellfish farms, mainly in the South Sound.

Again, it’s interesting to note that the Puget Sound Partnership did not weigh in at all on this case, for either side.

Read the short PDF of the ruling here. There is a longer document of the actual findings from the Hearings Examiner available on line if you wish.

http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/permitting/hearing/decisions/2012/961372.bocc.decision.taylor.pdf

Hood Canal Shellfish Closed Due To Vibrio – State of WA

If you have purchased or dug shellfish on Hood Canal in the last few days, you might want to consider this news.

Hood Canal 5 growing area is closed effective immediately because of a Vibrio parahaemolyticus-associated illness outbreak involving six unrelated people. According to the Model Ordinance Chapter II, when a
growing area is closed for naturally-occurring pathogens, a recall must be initiated; the recall will apply to all oyster product harvested on and after August 16, 2012. All growers in Hood Canal 5 will be
contacted telephonically with details. The growing area may be reopened when it is determined that the naturally-occurring pathogen is no longer a risk to public health. If you have any questions, please contact Richard G. Lillie, MPH State Standardization Officer at 360.236.3313 or via email, or Cari Franz-West at 360.236.3326. Questions about the recall may be addressed to Frank Cox at
360.236.3309.

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