It is recognized that healthy shellfish beds are a sign of a generally healthy shoreline. Along our shorelines, residents enjoy not only recreational clamming, but many homeowners either lease their shorelines to shellfish harvesters or seed their shorelines themselves. However, not all harvesting methods are created equal. In particular, Griffin Neighborhood Association member Paul Allen has brought attention to the effects of intensive geoduck harvesting. What he has discovered vividly demonstrates the undesirable effects of intensive aquaculture, both in the short term, in the form of reduced recreational value of the shoreline and in increased risks to public safety, but also in the long-term deterioration of shoreline health and water quality.
Before you lease your shoreline or engage in intensive geoduck harvesting yourself, give some consideration to others who live along and use the shorelines and the ill effects of your harvesting operation on the health of the Puget Sound. In at least one instance, also, we are hearing from a real estate professional the result of intensive geoduck harvesting will be diminished property value.
According to Paul Allen, “From a purely economical standpoint, I will earn more equity over 4-5 five years by keeping my shoreline as pristine and desirable as possible, than I ever could by degrading it for the purpose of short term financial gain associated with intensive geoduck farming.”
We’ll continue to pass more information on to visitors of our web site at http://www.griffinneighbors.org/ as we obtain it.
Read more about the effects of intensive geoduck harvesting on one community’s shoreline at Save Our Shoreline.
UPDATE: Here’s an additional web site, from a group near Zangle Cove, which details the issues around commerical geoduck farming.
More information on the overall state strategy to protect shellfish areas in Puget Sound is available on the Puget Sound Action Team’s Web site.