U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell was at a Seattle fish market Sunday morning to make an announcement in an effort to protect Washington shellfish jobs.
Cantwell was at Taylor Shellfish’s new Melrose Market location in Capitol Hill, where she highlighted the impact of 3,200 Washington shellfish jobs.
Local shellfish growers and ocean acidification scientists were also in attendance.
In March, Cantwell led a letter with 11 other Senators urging the Senate to restore support for ocean acidification monitoring programs, which are under threat for elimination in a proposed budget, according to Cantwell’s office. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) programs allow shellfish growers to monitor ocean acidity in real time, with the use of data from sensors and buoys.
On Thursday, after Cantwell’s letter, a subcommittee voted to increase rather than cut support for the NOAA Regional Integrated Ocean Observing Systems (IOOS), which operate acidification monitoring buoys and sensors in the state.
Cantwell’s visit was to help continue federal support for the IOOS and ocean acidification programs, as the budget process continues.
Taylor Shellfish, is a family-owned business based in Shelton. It is the largest producer of farmed shellfish in North America, and employs 500 workers in its farming and processing operations.