House committee approves Seaquist’s aquaculture bill
February 22, 2013 | By Washington House Democrats
The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee approved Rep. Larry Seaquist’s (D-Gig Harbor) HB 1894, which would address some concerns with shellfish farming.
“I’m focused on three ‘healthies’ – a healthy shellfish industry, a healthy Puget Sound to grow shellfish, and a healthy relationship between growers and our neighbors.”
The bill addresses to key areas of concern in the industry:
- New research is needed with rapid changes in shellfish farming practices and our common need to assure the long-term health of Puget Sound. The bill would task our SeaGrant research consortium with a fresh round of comprehensive research. Experts will conduct research that will focus on issues of concern to citizens, regulators, and shellfish farmers.
- Shellfish farming often raises questions by neighbors about the environmental impact and, occasionally, a disturbance in quiet neighborhood – those concerns demand that increased information and an improved compliance & compliant process be available to the general public.
The bill was introduced as a low-cost, highly effective response to those two key concerns with shellfish farming.
“This is not a pro or con shellfish bill,” said Seaquist. “My main concerns are to gather high-quality research to help us make better decisions and to give our neighbors better tools to express their concerns.”