Protect sustainable salmon farming and the rural jobs it supports

Salmon farming has been in the news of late. Unfortunately, much of the information has been inaccurate and biased,  prompting an effort to shut down a proud, 30-year sector of Washington’s fishing industry and eliminate hundreds of rural, family wage jobs.

Here are the facts. Farmed salmon is among the most sustainable proteins available, with a lower carbon footprint than chicken, pork or beef. Farmed salmon is locally raised, healthy to eat, accessible year round and affordable across the income spectrum.

While the rhetoric from opponents has been fever-pitched, the biological science is solid as a rock: farmed salmon pose zero threat to wild salmon, either in the marketplace or in our waterways. Farmed salmon do not interbreed with wild salmon, do not compete for food or habitat with wild salmon and do not spread disease to wild salmon.

Unlike previous refinery disasters, pipeline explosions, oil spills and raw sewage spills, the recent collapse of a salmon net-pen has not harmed a single human being or a single wild fish. Yet long-time salmon farming opponents are exploiting this accident to push for a ban – and some lawmakers are heeding the call of this rush to judgement, rather than the call of scientific and economic reality.

Simply put, a ban on salmon farming places ideology over science. It is unfair to the hundreds of employees whose livelihoods come from salmon farming, and the many thousands more who depend on this accessible, affordable, sustainable protein source.

Email your legislators to let them know that House Bill 2957 Senate Bill 6086 are a costly overreaction to a regrettable accident, and are the wrong solution for our marine environment and our economy!

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