Tag Archives: Washington State

Washington State: Council unanimously opposes coastal oil and gas drilling

The Ocean Shores City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution that opposes offshore oil and gas activities off the coast in response to a pending Trump administration proposal to permit drilling in most U.S. continental-shelf waters. “Our Washington coast is one of the most wonderful places in this entire world,” said Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler.,, Larry Thevik, the president of the Washington Dungeness Crab Fishing Association and a 47-year resident of Ocean Shores, said he was also speaking on behalf of the Washington Trollers Association and the Westport Charterboat Association. >click here to read< 17:24

Washington State could end net pens for fish by 2024

By 2024, Washington could ban all net pens where nonnative fish are raised commercially. A bill approved Thursday by the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Water Committee would keep the state from renewing the existing leases as they expire between 2022 and 2024. No new leases are being issued but the state has legal obligations to honor current leases.  The proposal also calls for an extensive study of the practice of raising fish in large pens by companies that lease space in Washington waters. It would be presented to the Legislature in January 2021. >click here to read< 14:41

New bill could put Washington salmon farms in jeopardy – >click here to read

Hatchery Fish Often Fail in the Wild. Now We Might Know Why

Wild salmon are struggling to get their groove back.,, For years, Canada has tried to help bolster the salmon population by releasing hatchery-raised juvenile fish, or smolts, into the wild. Scientists know these hatchery smolts don’t do well in the wild—the fish tend to die younger than their wild brethren and reproduce less, but it’s unclear why. In a recent study, however, researchers think they’ve hit upon a possible explanation.,, In Washington State, hatchery-spawned steelhead also do poorly in the wild. click here to read the story 12:31

Death by Killer Algae

They didn’t think much of the first dead whale. Dwarfed by the rugged cliffs of Patagonia’s high green fjords, the team of biologists had sailed into a gulf off the Pacific Ocean searching for the ocean’s smaller animals, the marine invertebrates they were there to inventory. That night, while hunting for an anchorage in a narrow bay, the team spotted a large, dead whale floating on the water’s surface. But for the biologists, death—even of such an enormous animal—didn’t seem so unusual. Not so unusual, that is, until they found the second whale, lying on the beach. And a third. And a fourth. In all, they found seven in that bay alone. Over the next day, they counted a total of 25 dead whales in the fjord. click here to read the story 15:42

Washington state senator says he’ll file bill to ban Atlantic salmon farming

Under fire after a collapse and massive escape last summer, Atlantic salmon net-pen farming would be banned in Washington under legislation that will be filed by Sen. Kevin Ranker this coming session. The legislation would allow existing state leases for the eight Atlantic net-pen farms now operating in Washington to run out by 2025. No permits for new farms would be granted, and no renewals for existing leases would be allowed. The bill also would require state agencies that regulate net-pen farming to keep a tighter watch on operations. click here to read the story 13:30

Salmon-farming operations face protests, occupations in B.C., legislative scrutiny in Washington state

A showdown is brewing over Atlantic salmon net-pen farming on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border. Marine Harvest, a major producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in British Columbia, is seeking a court order to evict First Nations women who have occupied one of its fish farms, an order it intends to enforce by police action if necessary, said Ian Roberts, spokesman for the company. Marine Harvest operates 11 open-water Atlantic salmon net-pen farms in the Broughton Archipelago alone, at the northeast end of Vancouver. Ten of the farms have leases that are up for renewal by the B.C. government in June, and two of those farms have been occupied by First Nations people who say they won’t leave until the leases are canceled. click here to read the story 12:04

Protest seeks shutdown of Atlantic salmon farms in Washington state

Activists in Washington state plan to launch a protest flotilla on Saturday in the Pacific Ocean’s Puget Sound over the accidental release of tens of thousands of farm-raised Atlantic salmon that they say threaten dwindling stocks of wild fish. The afternoon protest, which seeks to shut down farms that raise the non-native salmon in underwater pens, is expected to draw dozens of boats, kayaks and canoes on a route along the San Juan Islands where the spill happened.  That raised fears they would compete with wild fish for food, prey on the young, and expose them to disease. Protesters said native fish like Chinook salmon and steelhead trout were already struggling before the spill. click here to read the story 13:26

Kilmer, Herrera Beutler add funding for fishery disasters to key Appropriations Bill

U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) successfully added $20 million for fishery disasters relief in Washington state to a key House Appropriations Bill on Thursday. The U.S. Department of Commerce in January issued multiple fishery disaster declarations in Washington state, at the urging of Kilmer, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and others. The commercial fishery failures impacted communities along much of the Washington coast. The Commerce disaster declaration cleared the way for additional resources to be provided to the communities affected by the poor seasons, but up to this point no funding had been approved by Congress. click here to read the story 08:13

Cantwell, Murray Push to Declare Six Fisheries Disasters in Washington State

us-senate-sealU.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker calling for a declaration of commercial fisheries failures for six pending fishery disaster requests. Fishing communities up and down Washington’s coast have suffered through several years of lower-than-expected catch. A federal fishery disaster declaration would make communities eligible for funding for projects such as fisheries recovery, job training, and infrastructure investments in the communities hardest hit. Commerce Secretary’s designation would provide relief to Coho, Sockeye, and Dungeness fishermen and their communities. Read the press release here 18:06

Proposed “no discharge zone” by Washington State, Commercial vessels would have five years to comply

No Sewage2Boaters and vessel operators would not be able to release sewage, treated or untreated, into Puget Sound under a proposal by Washington state regulators. The Department of Ecology said Thursday, July 21 it and other state agencies petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to designate the waters of Puget Sound a “no discharge zone” to improve water quality and protect shellfish beds and swimming beaches from harmful bacteria. Critics say the proposal is too broad and will be costly for many who would have to retrofit their vessels to accommodate holding tanks. They say many vessel operators currently use marine sanitation devices to treat sewage before it’s pumped overboard. If approved, the zone would immediately apply to all vessels, with the exception of tugboats, commercial fishing vessels and some boats that would have five years to retrofit their vessels. There are more than 150,000 recreational and commercial vessels in Puget Sound. Read the rest here 17:11

Fishing bills in Olympia fail the smell test

Yet another volley has been fired in the decades-old conflict between sport and commercial fishing. HB 1660 would change state law so that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife would have to give sport angling precedence over commercial fishing. Under current law, the agency is supposed to “enhance and maximize” both kinds of fishing. The current bill is another example of sport fishing interests blaming commercials, rather than the Columbia River dams and loss of habitat that are also factors, for a lack of fish. Read the rest here 07:50

Fishing License Fee’s Going up in Washington State

A new surcharge would be applied to commercial businesses that fish, harvest, sell, buy or process salmon and steelhead. The salmon excise tax would be increased. Individuals assisting in the commercial harvest of fish and shellfish would be required to buy a new crew member license. Read the rest here 10:42

All around Washington State, Salmon returns to the Rivers

A major annual salmon migration from sea to river happens around the  state in the fall. Community festivals, salmon bakes and 10K runs are  scheduled to recognize this annual event. The Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office also is releasing six, 2-minute  videos that focus on those affected by the decline of salmon  populations and those working to restore salmon and salmon habitat, all  available on YouTube. Commercial fisherman Marc Jerkovich, Gig Harbor  [email protected] 18:26