Puget Sound is our Sound. The salmon that swim in its waters are our salmon. They have been the lifeblood of our past, and they will be the lifeblood of our future.
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, and our future into the hands of an industry with a long history of negative environmental, social, and economic impacts - impacts that led California, Oregon, and Alaska to wisely ban this industry.
It’s time for us to stand up for our Sound. It’s time for us to stand up for our salmon. And it’s time we stand up for our future by stopping the expansion of destructive Atlantic salmon net pens in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
California, Oregon, and Alaska have all banned Atlantic salmon net pens to protect the health of their salmon and waters. Take action today and tell Governor Inslee it's time Washington joins them and takes the first step forward by banning the expansion of Atlantic salmon net pens in Washington's waters.
Puget Sound currently has eight operational Atlantic salmon net pen facilities. These net pens pose a major threat to Puget Sound and have a poor safety record that includes thousands of escaped Atlantic salmon, a major viral outbreak, and decades of pollution. Despite this troubling record, Washington still has a regulatory regime that does not comply with many international standards, especially those that protect wild fish.
Now Cooke Aquaculture, an international corporation that owns these salmon net pens and has major operations in Chile, Spain, Scotland, Canada, and Maine, wants to make Puget Sound a global hub for Atlantic salmon net pens. If they are successful, Cooke Aquaculture will make millions in profits while Washingtonians, our Sound, and our salmon will get stuck with the bill and decades of environmental harm.
The future of Puget Sound is already precarious, and its future is getting even more uncertain due to the current political climate in our nation's capital. Federal funding for Puget Sound restoration is on the chopping block and environmental protections for clean water and endangered salmon are at risk of being eliminated. Given the potential loss of these critical restoration funds and protections, the last thing we need is to allow a destructive, loosely regulated industry to further threaten our Sound and our salmon.
Puget Sound is the lifeblood of our region. It's where we take our children to play and teach them about the wonders of nature. It's where businesses and families continue Washington’s rich history of nourishing ourselves with Puget Sound's salmon, shellfish, forage fish, rockfish, crabs, shrimp, and prawns. And it's home for our iconic animals like orcas, porpoises, otters, and all five species of salmon.
Despite our region’s collective reverence for the Sound, its health is deteriorating due to a number of environmental threats. Recognizing the importance of a healthy Sound, federal, tribal, state, and local governments are spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year to protect and recover the Sound. And countless organizations and volunteers are working tirelessly to ensure we have a healthy Puget Sound for ourselves, future generations, and the Sound's rich biodiversity.
With all of the great work being done and the taxpayer money being spent to recover the Sound, the last thing we need is to allow Puget Sound to become a hotbed for the destructive Atlantic salmon net pen industry. We simply cannot afford risking the health of our Sound by putting this invaluable resource in the hands of an international industry with a long history of environmental destruction and misleading the public.
Puget Sound was once home to some of the greatest Pacific salmon populations in the world. While our salmon are now only a fraction of their historic abundance, these majestic fish are still an ecological cornerstone for Puget Sound and all the salmon-bearing rivers that flow into it. Plus, these Puget Sound salmon fuel a vibrant commercial, tribal, and recreational fishery that generates tens of millions of dollars every year for Washingtonians and creates endless joy and lifelong memories for children and adults alike.
Simply put, Atlantic salmon net pens are bad news for Pacific salmon and don’t belong in Puget Sound. Research throughout the Salish Sea has demonstrated that these net pens are a breeding ground for lethal parasites and viruses that can infect and kill wild salmon. Plus, these net pens are major polluters capable of creating environmental disasters like toxic algae blooms, which are disastrous for fish and shellfish populations.
From Norway to British Columbia to Chile, everywhere Atlantic salmon net pens operate, wild fish populations suffer. With our salmon populations on the brink of collapse, these Atlantic salmon net pens have the potential to be another nail in their coffin.
We cannot afford to let non-native Atlantic salmon kill the last vestiges of our wild salmon and harm the countless Washingtonians that rely on our salmon for jobs, sustenance, and recreation.
Right now, the State of Washington is working to green-light Cooke Aquaculture’s dangerous net pen plans and is proposing the creation of unenforceable recommendations to “guide” this dirty industry. If we do nothing, Cooke Aquaculture will turn Puget Sound into an industrial feedlot for their non-native fish, and the State will do very little to protect us, our children, our salmon, and our Sound.
But we have the power to stop Cooke’s expansion proposal dead in its tracks. And we have the power to tell the good folks down in Olympia that it’s time to clean up the existing net pen operations.
The future of Puget Sound and its salmon is in our hands. It’s time we stand up for them and send a loud and clear message to Governor Inslee that he needs to protect our Sound, our salmon, and our future by saying no to destructive net pens in Puget Sound.
Please take a minute and add your name to our petition below urging Governor Inslee to protect our Sound, our salmon, and our future from Atlantic salmon net pens.
Governor Jay Inslee
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
We are writing to express both our love for Puget Sound as well as our grave concerns about the proposed expansion of Atlantic salmon net pens in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We respectfully request that you stop the expansion of this destructive industry in Washington's waters.
Puget Sound is the lifeblood of our region. It is where we take our children to play and teach them about the wonders of nature. It is where businesses and families continue Washington’s rich history of nourishing ourselves with Puget Sound's salmon, shellfish, forage fish, rockfish, crabs, shrimp, and prawns. It is also home for many of our iconic animals such as orcas, porpoises, otters, and all five species of salmon. We cannot risk all of that to benefit an international corporation that will pollute our Sound with harmful waste, invasive species, deadly parasites, and lethal viruses that infect our wild salmon.
We know you understand the value of Puget Sound and its salmon because you have dedicated hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to support their recovery and management. Rather than supporting the expansion of an industry that will undo that great work, we encourage you to stop the expansion of Atlantic salmon net pens in Washington. We encourage you to join California, Oregon, and Alaska, which all banned Atlantic salmon net pens to protect their salmon and the health of their waters. Additionally, we encourage you to support the development of strong, legally enforceable science-based regulations for the existing Atlantic salmon net pens, not merely toothless recommendations like we have today.
Puget Sound and the fish that swim in its waters belong to the people of Washington. We care deeply about the wellbeing of the Sound and its salmon, and we want these resources protected so our children and their children can enjoy them. Our Sound, our salmon, and our future are far too important to put in the hands of an industry with a long history of negative environmental, social, and economic impacts everywhere it operates.
We urge you to continue your work protecting Puget Sound and its salmon by stopping the expansion of Atlantic salmon net pens. This decision is in your hands - please protect our Sound, our salmon, and our future.
Thank you for your consideration.
The undersigned supporters of Our Sound, Our Salmon