Wednesday May 24, 2023

FOX 13

Work is beginning to remove the final net pens left in local waters. Still, the fight surrounding the decades-long debate over commercial net pen use in Puget Sound continues.

One could argue that the fight is ending. Despite court battles over whether Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has the authority to ban net pens in state waters, a crane looms over the last remaining net pens in Washington state out near Bainbridge Island.

“For me, it’s an exciting moment of taking back our local waters for our native fish and native tribes,” said Franz, overlooking the facility near Fort Ward Park.

Franz announced an executive order in November 2022 that closed state-owned aquatic lands to net pen fish farming, calling them a threat to the marine ecosystem.

The main concern over commercial net pens comes down to environmental impacts. Proponents of banning net pens point to untreated waste from net pen facilities and various viruses and diseases that can be spread from farm fish to wild fish.

Read more >

Link copied successfully