Supporter

Bill Silkes

Owner, American Mussel Harvesters, Inc.

‘The world needs renewable protein. As the owner of American Mussel Harvesters, a company that grows, harvests and markets farmed and wild-caught shellfish, I am invested in a healthy ocean. Shellfish need clean water to grow and actually contribute to better water quality by filter feeding. At the same time, aquaculture farmers need space to operate in our coastal areas that are also used by shippers, sailors and now wind farm developers. The need to balance these users (among many others) was why I got involved in ocean planning and the SAMP (Special Area Management Plan for the Ocean). I wanted to ensure that decision makers understood that shellfish farming was a legitimate activity and that our needs must also be considered. This conversation needs to continue in all ocean planning efforts.’


© 2015 Rick Friedman Photography

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Why We Need Ocean Planning

The ocean and coasts are active places, and we’re putting more demands on them every day. Think about it: traditional uses such as fishing, boating, shipping, recreation, and tourism are all changing and expanding, and at the same time we’re pioneering new industries alongside them like wind energy and sand mining. Ocean planning is about thinking ahead and planning for how to make it all work. Otherwise, we put the ocean’s vast, yet fragile, resources at risk. Voluntary ocean planning allows us to coordinate all these uses in a way that benefits our economy, our communities, and ocean health. Ocean planning is a science-based and data-driven process that provides a tool for people and government to work together, share information and solve problems in a way that works for everyone. Ocean planning helps to identify and resolve potential conflicts early on, helping decision makers and stakeholders in both the private and public sectors do their jobs better. This creates better outcomes for everyone, supporting a healthy ocean and vibrant economy

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