Thanks to you, there are no atlantic salmon fish farms in washington's future
On Friday March 2nd, in the last hour of the 2018 legislative session, WA state Senators cast the final vote on a heavily debated bill to phase out Atlantic salmon net pens in Wasington.
First and foremost, we want to say THANK YOU to everyone who supported the Our Sound, Our Salmon campaign over the past year.
Our petition to the Governor urging him to support a phase out of Atlantic salmon net pens was signed by over 12,000 individuals and supported by 109 businesses and organizations. In the final minutes of the session before a vote was taken on the bill, Senator Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas) stood up on the Senator floor and held up the petition to demonstrate broad support for protecting our wild fish by removing this risky practice from our public waters.
Beyond the campaign, we also want to extend our deepest gratitude to the tribal members, commercial fishermen, chefs, and environmental groups who invested so much time and energy into this issue and were monumental in carrying the bill to victory.
Lastly, we are incredibly proud of the 31 senators and 67 house representatives who chose to represent the interests of our marine environment over the interests of a well-funded and powerful industry. Despite a desperate, all-out, last minute lobbying push by Cooke Aquaculture, 98 representatives in the senate and the house stood up for our sound and our salmon. We applaud them.
Too often legislators only hear from their constituents when we have something to ask of them! Reach out to your legislators today and thank them for making the right decision.
No doubt about it - this vote is a victory. It’s a victory for those who call the Pacific Northwest home. It’s a victory for wild salmon and the entire marine ecosystem that depends on this keystone species' health and survival. It’s a victory for tribal nations for whom salmon is a way of life. It’s a victory for the public waters we all share in common. It’s a victory for the countries around the world fighting this very fight in their own waters. It’s a victory for those whose lives and livelihoods rely on a healthy Puget Sound, and for those who believe that legislation should reflect sound science.
industry attempts to stop bill at all cost
During the final two weeks of the session as thousands of Washingtonians awaited a final vote on EHB2957, Cooke Aquaculture threatened to sue the state for $76M under NAFTA if the bill were to pass and subsequently spent over $72,000 on lobbying efforts to terminate the bill in the final days of the session.
On the very last day of the 2018 WA legislative session, we learned that a volatile debate had emerged on and off the Senate floor and that the future of a phase out bill was in serious jeopardy. A handful of Republican Senators introduced over 30 amendments to the bill in an attempt to stop the legislation from being brought up for a vote or from passing. Every amendment would need to be voted down before the bill itself could come to a final vote.
EHB2957 was the very last bill of the entire 2018 session to come to a vote. One by one the Senate voted against every amendment in a process that took almost two hours. Immediately after the final amendment was voted down a Senator burst into the chamber with a paper clutched in his hand and gasping for air. In desperate attempt to stop a final vote, he challenged that the bill violated one of the rules of the Senate, but Senate leadership quickly overruled the challenge and called the bill up for a final passage vote. Moments later a role call was taken and the Senate voted 31-16 in a show of bipartisan support for phasing out Atlantic salmon net pens.
Next the bill will head to Governor Inslee's desk where we expect it to be signed into law. The Governor endorsed an earlier version of a phase out bill and announced in a press conference that Atlantic salmon net pens undermine the investments WA has made to restore and protect wild salmon.
If you'd like to encourage the Governor to sign EHB2957 into law, click below.