Toxic Pearl – eBook


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SKU: 4324801884506465


Not many people know about shellfish company pesticide use in Washington State marine waters, now in its 55th year. Toxic Pearl tells this story. Widespread pesticide use began in 1963, and has been in continuous use ever since–except for one year. Starting in 1963, carbaryl–toxic to anything with a nervous systemwas sprayed by helicopter to kill two species of native shrimp to make way for non-native and invasive Pacific oysters. The shellfish companies sprayed annually, even though the state estimated the spraying killed over 10 million animals. Toxic Pearl shares the stories of 3 men sprayed with carbaryl while out on the tideflats…and tells the stories of 6 citizen activists who tried to stop shellfish company pesticide use, two of which were shellfish farmers. Although they did not spray their oyster beds, one of them had their oysters tested during the annual spraying. Those test indicated levels above EPAs limits for carbaryl in shellfish, yet he could have harvested them since he did not spray them directly. Toxic Pearl recounts the Shoalwater Bay Tribes abnormally high infant mortality rate of the 1990s, and their protest against the annual spraying of Willapa Bay, which continued unabated, and was then augmented with more pesticides to kill a non-native grass introduced by the shellfish companies. Toxic Pearl calls attention to the annual poisoning of Willapa Bay eelgrasses by the shellfish companies–critical habitat for 55 species, including food for ducks and geese on the Pacific Flyway where every calorie is critical on these epic migrations. The reason? To enhance in-water farms for the lucrative, non-native and invasive manila clam. In the meantime, these same companies market their shellfish as grown in pristine waters, using sustainable practices, and claim that they are model environmental stewards.


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