Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Precautionary Principle in Practice

Puget Sound geoduck farming may harm marine life

TACOMA, Wash. -- Raising geoducks may endanger inland marine life and tidelands, Pierce County planners say, a finding that could likely complicate the county's permit process for farming the ugly but lucrative giant clams.

Highlights of the decision were provided in an e-mail Wednesday to County Council member Terry Lee, who had inquired about the status of a permit application. The News Tribune found the correspondence Thursday during a review of geoduck (GOO'-ee-duck) permit records.

Kathleen Larrabee, a county Planning and Land Services Department supervisor who drafted the decision, told the newspaper that notices were sent within the past week to two permit applicants. One, Taylor Shellfish Farms, the West Coast's largest geoduck grower, is fighting efforts to close the harvest at its geoduck farm on Case Inlet. Read More

It’s the headline for this article that caught my attention more than anything. It is the Precautionary Principle at work. Agriculture is becoming a recurring victim of this principle. Any group can come along and allege that some practice or another, no matter if they have any evidence, MAY be causing some harm and should be stopped. The activist judges are going along with it and so is the public. The Precautionary Principle suggests that no matter the benefit of the issue at hand, if there is a chance that some harm may occur, the activity in question should be stopped.

No comments: