Letters to the Editor

Salmon: Ban net pens; wild fish need protection

Re: “Collapse at salmon farm renews debate about fish farming” (TNT, 8/24).

Thirty years ago the book “Mountain in the Clouds: the Search for Wild Salmon” by Bruce Brown documented the near-extinction of wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest. Removal of the Elhwa Dam was a step toward restoring wild salmon runs.

In apparent disregard for further protection of wild salmon, Washington permitted farm pens for Atlantic salmon. It was known that if any escaped, it would negatively impact Washington’s wild salmon. Disaster struck on Aug. 19. The pens were breached, releasing thousands and thousands of Atlantic salmon and threatening the health and survival of wild salmon.

Kudos to the Lummi Nation for quickly marshaling resources to capture and clear Puget Sound waters of invasive Atlantic salmon. The state Fish and Wildlife response, however, was too little, too late.

Washington needs to follow California and Alaska and immediately ban farming Atlantic salmon in Pacific waters. I stand with the Lummi and others in calling for improved protection of wild salmon and banning farming of Atlantic salmon in Washington.