PCC joins Our Sound, Our Salmon Coalition

Urgent Request from U.S. Coalition to BC Premier John Horgan: Deny Atlantic Salmon Net Pen Lease Renewals in British Columbia

 

Dear Premier John Horgan,

We, a coalition of organizations and businesses united as U.S. coastal partners under the banner of Our Sound, Our Salmon, write today to respectfully and urgently request you to deny the renewal of twenty Atlantic salmon net pen leases in the Broughton Archipelago that are due to expire on June 20th, 2018.

We write this letter in the interest of solidarity, asking you to help British Columbia join Washington, California, Oregon, and Alaska in excluding Atlantic salmon net pens from your coastal waters because of the threat they pose to Pacific salmon and, consequently, to killer whales. As you well know, Pacific salmon and killer whales are icons of the Pacific coast, species fundamental to the economy, culture, ecology, and heritage of the Pacific Northwest.

Atlantic salmon net pens represent an undeniable threat to Pacific salmon and other native marine species. Atlantic salmon net pens severely pollute the marine environment, have a history of infrastructure failures that result in chronic escapes both large and small, and significantly amplify contagious and harmful parasites and pathogens in the marine environment.

In order for Pacific salmon and the killer whales which rely on their abundance to have a fighting chance at survival, the entire Pacific coast of North America must be free of Atlantic salmon net pens. Pacific salmon and killer whales know no borders, and neither should our efforts to ensure their protection and recovery.

On March 22nd, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee brought the coast one step closer to this goal by signing a bill into law that will entirely phase out Atlantic salmon net pens from Washington state waters by 2022. With the signing of HB 2957, Governor Inslee ushered in a historically unprecedented phase out of Atlantic salmon net pens, a victory for wild salmon and for those whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Pacific coast.

Even more recently, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife denied the transfer of 800,000 Atlantic salmon smolts into currently operating Puget Sound pens after discovering the smolts were infected with an Icelandic strain of Piscine Reovirus (PRV), a highly contagious virus that is now known to cause debilitating and potentially lethal effects to Chinook salmon.

There has never been a better time for B.C. to make the same wise decisions. Your province represents the final missing link on the Pacific coast, the only jurisdiction that has yet to exclude this harmful industry from its waters.

Premier Horgan – of all of your province’s farmed Atlantic salmon, 80% are infected with PRV. The Atlantic salmon net pen industry in B.C. continues to operate with the full knowledge of the extent to which PRV infects their pens, acting in opposition to Canadian law, a Federal Court ruling, and First Nation demands.

Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska each weighed the risks associated with the Atlantic salmon net pen industry and concluded that enabling the industry was not in their best interest. Until B.C. takes the same steps, coast wide efforts to protect ESA-listed Chinook, steelhead, and killer whales will be compromised.

We sincerely urge you to join us in protecting our shared sea, salmon, and future by denying the renewal of upcoming Atlantic salmon net pen leases.

Sincerely,

Wild Fish Conservancy Northwest

Protectors of the Salish Sea

The Orca Conservancy

Vashon Beach Naturalists

Alaska Trollers Association

Sierra Club

Pacific Coast Federations of Fishermen’s Associations

Fly Fishers International

Patagonia

Lummi Island Wild

Friends of the Earth

Peninsula Cities for Protection of Whales

Puget Soundkeeper

Native Fish Society

Salish Center

PCC Community Markets

ReSources for Sustainable Communities

Friends of the San Juans

Seattle Audubon Society

Olympic Forest Coalition

Wild Steelhead Coalition

Patagonia Provisions

Whale and Dolphin Conservations

Mashiko

The Fly Shop

Sage

Sea Shepard Conversation Society

Duke’s Seafood and Chowder

Protect the Peninsula’s Future

Seawolf Coastal Protection

Olympic Environmental Council

Whidbey Environmental Action

Orcas Food Co-op

Fins and Fluke

North Cascades Audubon Society

Mangrove Action Project

Skagit Valley Food Co-op

Students for the Salish Sea

Spirit of Orca

Sustainable Bainbridge

The Ten Directions

Whale Scout

Wingspan Media

Friends of Dungeness

National Wildlife Refuge

Bainbridge Island Watershed Council

Northwest Watershed Institute

Washington Wildlife Federation

Redington

Loulay Kitchen and Bar

Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team

Luc

The Conservation Angler

Steamboaters

Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA)

The Electric Boat Company

The Institute for Fisheries Resources

Laguna Greenbelt, Inc.

Taco Mama’s

Fly Caster’s San Jose, CA

Rio Products

Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture

Blue Advocates

Dam Sense

Moldy Chum

Friends of Grays Harbor

Coastal Watershed Institute

Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers

Coast Action Group

Snow Metrics

Stateside

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