I went Dungeness crabbing in Washington for the first time this fall. Here’s why I’m concerned about increased shipping from Trans Mountain pipeline.

by Verner Wilson, senior oceans campaigner

As someone who is part of a family that has made our living off of healthy stocks of seafood in the Pacific Northwest, I was extremely grateful to go Dungeness crabbing off of the San Juan Islands in the Salish Sea for the first time this fall. Being in beautiful northern Washington, smelling the fresh sea air and seeing other coastal dwellers prosper off one of America’s most beautiful seas was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I will never forget. It reminded me of where I grew up in Bristol Bay, Alaska — where my family continues to have a livelihood benefiting from our sustainable seafood. I can now say I’ve gone herring, halibut, salmon and Dungeness crab fishing, and nothing is greater to me then smelling the fresh sea air and enjoying the beautiful ocean while helping others enjoy our country’s great seafood.

The risk of oil and other pollutant spills, marine noise pollution, increased greenhouse gas emissions and other disturbances pose a threat to our wildlife — and thus our ways of life.

Increased shipping from Trans Mountain also threatens many species, including the iconic southern resident killer whale (SKRW) that numbers only 74 individuals left. Washington’s salmon could be negatively impacted as well, as salmon in the ocean depend on a clean sea for feeding off plankton and other invertebrates.

Proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Image via Alaska Highway News.

Friends of the Earth U.S. defends the environment and champions a healthy and just world. www.foe.org