Update February 15, 2018: Both the House and Senate have passed bills to phase out net pens in our state! THANK YOU for your advocacy — the final step is Governor Inslee’s approval.
Update February 13, 2018: The House of Representatives intends to vote on a bill that would not phase out net pens, calling instead for further study of their impact. Please call your representative and let them know you want them to take action to phase out Atlantic salmon net pens in Puget Sound!
Update February 6, 2018: Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz announced that the state is terminating Cooke’s lease for their Cypress Island facility due to egregious lease violations. This is where the spill occurred this summer. We are still pushing for a legislative solution, but this is a step in the right direction for our state! You can thank Commissioner Franz by sending an email.
As a member of the Our Sound, Our Salmon coalition, Puget Soundkeeper opposes Atlantic salmon net pen fish farming in Puget Sound and all our state waters. The massive salmon spill from Cooke Aquaculture’s operation in August 2017 revealed just how risky these farms are. The science demonstrates that Atlantic salmon:
- Spread disease and parasites, like sea lice, to our native Pacific salmon
- Can escape, multiply, compete with and even eat native Pacific salmon
- When farmed in net pens, discharge hundreds of thousands of pounds of waste, including fecal matter, uneaten food pellets, and other detritus, directly into our public waters.
It makes no sense to continue supporting this risky industry in Puget Sound when our native salmon populations remain on the decline despite massive efforts to restore this vital resource.
The state legislature is now in session and there are multiple bills* proposed to limit and ban outright the practice of farming Atlantic salmon in Washington State. The Our Sound, Our Salmon coalition is calling on state leadership to prevent new leases for these facilities, and to not renew leases that expire. Join us in protecting our Sound and our native Pacific salmon from these destructive operations. Write your legislators and let them know that this issue is important to you.
Cooke Aquaculture, the company responsible for the massive release of Atlantic salmon in August, has plans to expand operations in Puget Sound. We cannot allow this to happen. The company, and the entire Atlantic salmon farming industry, has a long history of negative environmental, social and economic impacts. Every West Coast state except Washington has excluded Atlantic salmon net pens because of these impacts. And Washington should join them.
Add your voice — ask your representatives to keep Atlantic salmon net pens out of our state and protect our shared waters.
*As specific bills come up for vote, we will update this post and reach out by email. To get these notifications, sign up for our email alerts.