Forum Index > Stewardship > 'Environmental Nightmare' After Thousands Of Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm 08/24/17
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Ski
><((((°>



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 9563 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((°>
PostThu Aug 16, 2018 6:15 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Thursday August 16, 2018 16:15 PDT

Wild Fish Conservancy wrote:

Judge Rejects Motion by Federal Agencies and Net Pen Industry to Dismiss WFC Lawsuit, Warns Agencies' Claims Border on the Frivolous

Wild Fish Enthusiasts,


On Tuesday August 7th,  a federal judge denied motions filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NOAA Fisheries Service (NOAA), and by industry giant Cooke Aquaculture to dismiss all claims in an on-going suit filed by Wild Fish Conservancy (WFC) under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Judge Barbara J. Rothstein denied two separate motions intended to dismiss the case, thereby allowing all four of WFC's causes of action to go forward against NOAA and the EPA.  The case focuses on Atlatnic salmon net pen aquaculture and the potential risk to ESA-listed species.  In her written order to dismiss, the federal judge strongly criticized the federal agencies' argument that they have no legal responsibility to consider the adverse effects of Atlantic salmon farms when consulting on approval of state regulations.

Excerpts from Judge Barbara J. Rothstein's Order:

“The Agency’s post hoc claim in this litigation that its prior consultations were “voluntary,” and that it had no duty to review the effects of net pens, including disease and escapement—and in fact, no duty to conduct a consultation at all—is simply not credible."

"The Agency’s position—which would have the question of whether or not an agency has a duty to consult turn on the outcome of a consultation—borders on the frivolous."

Click Here to Read the Full Order:
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/86d93c48268d84a1b0bd41ba1/files/b303522c-5255-4008-a23c-288b60e621bf/089.order.defs.m_dismiss_1_.pdf

History of WFC's Case Against NOAA Fisheries Service and the EPA

In 2008, WFC brought a lawsuit against NOAA and the EPA for putting ESA-listed salmon and Southern Resident killer whales at risk of harm by failing to consult best available science when approving state regulations for Atlantic salmon aquaculture.  At the time, the agencies even failed to take into consideration NOAA's own recovery plans for both species.  In April 2010, the judge ruled in favor of WFC and ordered the federal agencies to reconsider the effects of Atlantic salmon net pens on ESA-listed species using best available science, as mandated under the ESA.

EPA and NOAA announced in 2011 they had completed another informal review and maintain their stance that the regulations in place are adequate.  They concluded that Atlantic salmon net pen aquaculture is “not likely to adversely affect” any ESA-listed species in Puget Sound.


In November 2015, WFC filed a new case under section 7 of the ESA challenging the agencies' 2011 informal review and alleging that a 2011 outbreak of IHNv, an infectious virus that can amplify transmission to wild salmon, required the agencies to reinitiate their ESA consultation.  Under this section of the law, EPA and NOAA are required to promptly reinitiate a prior consultation if new scientific evidence or information suggests greater harm to ESA-listed species than considered during prior consultation.

The case was nearly ready for presentation to the Court when one of the net pens at Cypress Island facility collapsed in August 2017 resulting in the escape of an estimated 260,000 non-native Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound.  Scientific research suggests escape events, both large and small, have the potential to harm the food source, habitat, and health of ESA-listed salmon. WFC then amended its claims in late-2017 to allege this disaster is another event requiring that EPA and NOAA reinitiate their 2011 consultation to evaluate the effects of Atlantic salmon farms on threatened salmonids, and consequently Southern Resident killer whales.

The federal agencies’ continued failure to reinitiate is particularly disconcerting given a Washington state agency’s report into the cause of the spill that found 100% of sampled escaped fish were positive for Piscine Reovirus (PRV), a debilitating salmonid virus with potentially lethal implications for native salmon.


NOAA and EPA argue that it is the responsibility of the state and not federal agencies to regulate net pens and that the federal agencies therefore have no ESA resonsibiliaties with resepct to the effects of Atlantic salmon farms.  In spring 2018, the agencies filed a motion to dismiss the case on these grounds and were joined by Cooke Aquaculture, owner of all Atlantic salmon net pen in Puget Sound. Last Tuesday August 7th, a federal judge rejected these motions and the case will continue to move forward.

Wild Fish Conservancy is represented in this matter by Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC, with offices in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.


Washington's remaining Atlantic salmon net pens will continue to operate until 2022 when the final leases expire.  Without proper science-based regulations in place, Puget Sound's ESA-listed salmonids and Southern Resident killer whales will continue to face harm at the expense of the commercial Atlantic salmon industry.  Tuesday's ruling represents a major and critical step forward toward adequately protecting these treasured species and holding our federal agencies accountable.

As the case progresses, we will be sure to keep you updated.  If you'd like to support our legal efforts please consider donating to the Wild Fish Conservancy.

Best,
Wild Fish Conservancy 


--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Ski
><((((°>



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 9563 | TRs
Location: tacoma
Ski
  Top

><((((°>
PostTue Aug 28, 2018 9:45 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Tuesday August 28, 2018 17:26 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW authorizes transfer of Atlantic salmon into net pens


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has authorized Cooke Aquaculture to transport about 800,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon from the company's hatchery in Rochester, Wash., to existing net-pen facilities in Puget Sound.

WDFW issued the fish transport permit this week after working to ensure Cooke had met all of the state's requirements for fish health.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed legislation to phase out Atlantic salmon net pen operations in Puget Sound as soon as 2022. Cooke is continuing its operations in the meantime.

On Aug. 2, Cooke submitted applications to move a total of 800,000 1-year-old Atlantic salmon from its Scatter Creek facility in Rochester to two different net pen locations in Puget Sound.

Both WDFW and Cooke tested samples of the fish, which met the state's health requirements, including testing negative for all forms of the fish virus PRV (piscine orthoreovirus), said Ken Warheit, WDFW's fish health manager.

Cooke typically transports fish eggs from an Iceland facility to Scatter Creek, where the eggs grow into smolts before being moved to net pens. In May, an exotic strain of PRV that shows up in north Atlantic waters was detected in a different batch of smolts at Cooke's Scatter Creek facility. WDFW denied the company's request to transfer those fish into net pens.

The state also requires that Cooke leave its net pens empty (or "fallow") for at least 30 days before transferring fish there. Warheit noted that Cooke will also meet this requirement as it transfers fish in October and November.

Cooke will move about 400,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon to its Cooke's Hope Island facility in Skagit Bay and another 400,000 fish to its Orchard Rocks facility (Kitsap County) in Rich Passage.

All future notifications about Atlantic salmon transfer permits will be posted online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/salmo_salar/ where people will be able to sign up for email notifications in the near future.

-WDFW-

--------------
"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Stewardship > 'Environmental Nightmare' After Thousands Of Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm 08/24/17
  Happy Birthday walkingstick, silly_traveler, Grannyhiker!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy