Proposed Abstract Title

Salish Sea shellfish aquaculture in Washington State and British Columbia

Presenter/Author Information

Bill Dewey, Taylor Shellfish FarmsFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Local Food Production: Aquaculture in the Salish Sea

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Washington State leads the United States in farmed shellfish production with 10,616 metric tons of oysters, Manila and geoduck clams, mussels and softshell clams in 2013 valued at nearly $92 million USD. Contributing to this success is the ability since 1895 to purchase tidelands from the state that were sold specifically for farming shellfish. Northern Economics (2013) estimated the total economic contribution from Washington’s shellfish culture industry at $184 million in 2010. Total direct, indirect and induced wages are estimated at $77 million. The Salish Sea accounts for 70% of the tonnage and 79% of the value. Pacific oysters dominate with 38% of the tonnage and value of Washington’s farmed shellfish. Manila clams are 2nd in quantity at 31% but drop to third in value at 19%. Geoduck are only 7% of the tonnage however they are second in value at 27%. British Columbia produced 8,450 metric tons of farmed shellfish in 2013 valued at $15.7 million USD of which 66% were oysters, 29% were clams, 3% mussels and 1% scallops. Shellfish farms in both Washington and BC are key rural employers. The industry in both has hundreds of multigenerational small family farms and several larger companies. In addition to the food and economic contributions generated by shellfish farms they also provide a variety of ecosystem services which often go overlooked when valuing the industry. Growth in both BC and Washington over the past decade has been relatively stagnant largely due to a difficult regulatory environment and lack of adequate seed. Washington is committed to addressing polluted shellfish growing areas with a target of 4,371 hectares upgraded by 2020. In January 2016 the Washington Shellfish Initiative was re-launched by Governor Inslee with activities to address ocean acidification impacts, improve the regulatory process, water quality, research, outreach and education, and restoration.

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Salish Sea shellfish aquaculture in Washington State and British Columbia

2016SSEC

Washington State leads the United States in farmed shellfish production with 10,616 metric tons of oysters, Manila and geoduck clams, mussels and softshell clams in 2013 valued at nearly $92 million USD. Contributing to this success is the ability since 1895 to purchase tidelands from the state that were sold specifically for farming shellfish. Northern Economics (2013) estimated the total economic contribution from Washington’s shellfish culture industry at $184 million in 2010. Total direct, indirect and induced wages are estimated at $77 million. The Salish Sea accounts for 70% of the tonnage and 79% of the value. Pacific oysters dominate with 38% of the tonnage and value of Washington’s farmed shellfish. Manila clams are 2nd in quantity at 31% but drop to third in value at 19%. Geoduck are only 7% of the tonnage however they are second in value at 27%. British Columbia produced 8,450 metric tons of farmed shellfish in 2013 valued at $15.7 million USD of which 66% were oysters, 29% were clams, 3% mussels and 1% scallops. Shellfish farms in both Washington and BC are key rural employers. The industry in both has hundreds of multigenerational small family farms and several larger companies. In addition to the food and economic contributions generated by shellfish farms they also provide a variety of ecosystem services which often go overlooked when valuing the industry. Growth in both BC and Washington over the past decade has been relatively stagnant largely due to a difficult regulatory environment and lack of adequate seed. Washington is committed to addressing polluted shellfish growing areas with a target of 4,371 hectares upgraded by 2020. In January 2016 the Washington Shellfish Initiative was re-launched by Governor Inslee with activities to address ocean acidification impacts, improve the regulatory process, water quality, research, outreach and education, and restoration.