15 Sep 2014
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House Committee Approves Rep. Larry Seaquist’s Aquaculture Bill

The bill, proposed by Gig Harbor's Rep. Larry Seaquist, focuses on maintaining a healthy shellfish industry and healthy relationship between growers and local residents.

House Committee Approves Rep. Larry Seaquist’s Aquaculture Bill

OLYMPIA – The  House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee approved  Rep. Larry Seaquist’s  House Bill 1894 on Thursday.

The bill aims to 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,” said Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor.  

The bill addresses two 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 most concern to citizens, regulators, and shellfish farmers.
  • Shellfish farming often raises questions by neighbors about the environmental impact. Those concerns demand that increased information and an improved compliance and 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.” 

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