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Readings for Week 6: Shellfish and the Ecology of Scale

This week we will use the lens of Puget Sound to look at issues of shellfish biology and ecology relevant to the culture of clams, mussels, oysters, and geoducks.

Tuesday, May 5

Today we will use the lens of shellfish to consider the ecology and economy of Puget Sound.

We begin by looking at parts of Puget Sound Partnership's 2013 State of the Sound Report (once again, as with the state of the world's forests, the 2015 report isn't out yet). It is long and detailed, but contains a lot of useful charts and tables. Please read over the Introduction and the chapter on performance management, and then skim through the vital signs section, looking especially at those vital signs indicators and targets in the sections on water quality, healthy human population, and habitat that are particularly relevant for shellfish production (you should know by now what they are). After you have done this, but before midnight on Monday, May 4, please post 200-300 words on why you think the various initiatives to restore Puget Sound have made so little progress.

In class, we will have a discussion on the state of the sound, as well as go over some of the issues we want to raise with our hosts at Taylor Shellfish on the May 9 field trip. We will also watch a fun video that will be a preview, in some ways, of our Saturday trip.

Thursday, May 7

I will not be able to meet class today, but you have a reading and posting assignment, which is due not the night before, but by 9:30 on the morning of class. Today we will concentrate on the issue of carrying capacity, which you should read about in Christopher McKindsey et al.'s article on Carrying capacity models and shellfish culture. Also please read the chapter by Dr. Joth Davis on an industry perspective in the book Shellfish Aquaculture and the Environment. As an example of carrying-capacity issues, we will also look at a particular controversy that is now raging in the south Puget Sound Sound in the area we will visit on our May 9 field trip: the Executive Summary of the North Totten Inlet Mussel Culture Environmental Impact Statement which you should read and post two questions about before 9:30 on Thursday, May 7. My comments will have to take the place of class discussion.