Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has issued a Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance for Cooke Aquaculture’s proposal (SEPA No. 19056) to farm biologically-engineered steelhead (aka Triploid Rainbow Trout) in the net pens Cooke Aquaculture used to farm Atlantic salmon.
Open water net pens are “Confined Animal Feeding Operations” that generate disease and pollution. There could also be another net pen collapse like the 2017 collapse that released over 300,000 diseased Atlantic salmon into the Salish Sea (pictured above).
Please join us in voicing concerns about this project. The public comment period closes at 5:00 pm on October 22, 2019. Here are the ways you can comment:
Online portal: https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/environmental/sepa/open-comments
Fax: (360) 902-2946
Mail: Lisa Wood, SEPA/NEPA Coordinator, WDFW Habitat Program, Protection Division, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504-3200
Click here to read the Friends of the San Juans comment letter.
We are asking WDFW to require a full environmental assessment and environmental impact statement under the State Environmental Policy Act to thoroughly address the risks of diseases, pollution, net pen collapses and further escapes, and the potential harm to the federally-listed as endangered Puget Sound steelhead.
We are also asking WDFW to extend this comment period for an additional 60 days as the 21-day comment period is insufficient for the public to evaluate and comment on this significant proposal. As was demonstrated during the 2017 net pen collapse, open water net pens in the Salish Sea and their associated impacts is clearly a topic of significant public concern.
Thank you for your voice and support!