Orca Conservancy is a member of the Our Sound, Our Salmon Coalition and we oppose Atlantic net pen fish farming in Puget Sound.
Lately it seems all we talk about is salmon. Salmon, salmon, salmon. There’s a good reason for this as the #1 food source of the remaining 76 members of the endangered Southern Resident orca population is…. salmon. No fish. No Blackfish.
NOW is the time to act to protect our waters, our salmon, and our Southern Resident salmon eating orcas. While the legislature is in session, we are calling on state leadership to prevent any new leases from being authorized for these facilities, and to not renew leases when they end.
We do not need more studies on the impacts of farming Atlantic salmon in net pens – the science is in! Research shows that Atlantic salmon:
• Spread disease and parasites, like sea lice, to our native Pacific salmon
• Can escape, breed, and start to compete with – and eat – our native Pacific salmon
• Discharge hundreds of thousands of pounds of waste, including fecal matter, uneaten food pellets and other detritus, directly into our public waters through the open nets
It makes no sense to continue supporting this risky industry in Puget Sound when we spend millions of dollars on native Pacific salmon recovery, and our salmon populations remain on the decline.
Cooke Aquaculture, an Atlantic salmon net pen conglomerate, is threatening the health of Puget Sound with their plans to further transform it into an epicenter of Atlantic salmon net pen production. We cannot risk putting our Sound, our salmon, our orcas, and our future into the hands of an industry with 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.
We should join our neighbors by prohibiting new leases and phasing out existing leases, not spending more time we don’t have studying the harmful impacts we already know exist.
Join us in asking for this much needed change — send a message to your legislators today to ask them to protect Puget Sound and our native salmon.