I have lived in the area over 40 years and walked the beaches and forests of the Key Peninsula. I see firsthand the damage that commercial geoduck harvesting does to the beach. I was at the Haley property this summer and witnessed the process in action at a nearby parcel. They use high powered water pressure created by what looked like a generator to blast the sand bed around the geoducks to pull them out, destroying and displacing the sand bed for any creature. On my walk there at low tide, I found small fish, crabs, spider crab, moon snails, moon snail eggs, horse clams and some sea grass. All these things would be destroyed from the practice of commercial geoduck harvesting.
We also have critically endangered sunflower sea star invertebrates in the area that require a stable sea floor. I have not seen endangered sunflower stars for quite some time. Stable sand beds are vital for the small creatures and larvae to live safely and mature, especially the seagrass beds that are being depleted worldwide.
I primarily eat sustainable seafood as my protein source but have never seen geoduck for sale in the stores I frequent. Geoduck is primarily exported to Asia. Geoducks live to over 100 years old and improve water quality through their siphoning.
It would be to our advantage to leave them to grow and not harvest them to improve quality in our bays that are suffering from sewage runoff that comes from increased population and unmanaged systems. I pick up litter when I walk the beach and frequently find the plastic mesh used in geoduck production. In my opinion this practice of farming geoduck in our area is all about money and not in the best interest of the health of Puget Sound and the beautiful beaches of Key Peninsula. I encourage you to watch YouTube videos of the destructive practice of harvesting commercially farmed geoducks to see for yourself.
Jenny Balman, Wauna
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