Oyster growers appeal state decision to deny pesticide use

Oyster growers appeal state decision to deny pesticide use

File Photo: Wikimedia Commons

SOUTH BEND, Wash. — A group of oyster growers have appealed a state decision to deny the use of a pesticide to control burrowing shrimp in oyster and clam beds in southwest Washington.

The Willapa Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association on Monday asked a state board to overturn the September decision by the state Department of Ecology.

The growers in a statement Tuesday say the decision was "blatantly political" and based on "faulty science."

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In denying the permit, Ecology officials said mounting scientific evidence shows the insecticide imidacloprid poses "too great a risk" to the state's environment.

They noted that the pesticide would harm invertebrates in the sediment, and affect fish and birds when their food sources are disrupted.

The growers say burrowing shrimp are destroying oyster beds and damaging an industry that contributes millions to the regional economy.

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