Point Hudson could become home to Tribal oyster nursery

Posted 9/16/20

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is eying the Point Hudson Marina as a possible location for a floating oyster nursery called a “ FLUPSY.”

A floating upweller system, commonly …

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Point Hudson could become home to Tribal oyster nursery

Ralph Riccio examines some of the pre-screened oysters at the Tribal FLUPSY in the John Wayne Marina.
Ralph Riccio examines some of the pre-screened oysters at the Tribal FLUPSY in the John Wayne Marina.
Leader photo by Nick Twietmeyer
Posted

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is eying the Point Hudson Marina as a possible location for a floating oyster nursery called a “ FLUPSY.”

A floating upweller system, commonly abbreviated as “FLUPSY,” acts as a sort of floating teen center for young oysters. By giving the oysters a safe, stable environment, the young oysters can grow out of harm’s way.

After the aquatic lock-in, the oysters can either be sold to “re-seed” tidelands or distributed throughout oyster beds to finish their growth before being harvested and sold commercially.

Port of Port Townsend Commissioner Pete Hanke said at a late August meeting that Port officials had met with representatives from the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe to discuss the possibility of placing a FLUPSY at the Point Hudson Marina. 

“As a long-term tenant of Point Hudson, from 1985 to today, it’s pretty exciting,” Hanke said. “I am excited to think that there are a lot of bases that are covered to have Native Americans involved with something like Point Hudson, especially their tie to it.”

At the Aug. 26 meeting, Hanke said he was excited by the possibility of such a system moving in to Point Hudson. The commissioner added that he saw the installment of one as an opportunity to create a public attraction that could also involve an educational component through the Northwest Maritime Center.

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe are no strangers to shellfish rearing either; the FLUPSY at Point Hudson could be the fifth such oyster-rearing facility operated by the Tribe.

Currently, the Tribe operates four other FLUPSYs located on Sequim Bay’s John Wayne Marina.   

“We’re at capacity where we’re at; our intention is to expand our capacity,” said Kurt Grinell, who serves as the aquaculture manager and councilmember for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. “Most of this will be going on our own beaches.”

Grinnell said aside from the benefits to the Tribe, there are significant job opportunities attached to managing a FLUPSY as well.

“We employ people all the way from no education, all the way up to PhDs,” Grinnell said. “There’s a place for everybody in aquaculture.”

Grinnell also pointed out that as filter-feeders, oysters raised on FLUPSYs also remove contaminants from the water in which they are being raised.

“One of the things that we like with the FLUPSYs is they’re a very good learning opportunity for the general community, too,” Grinnell added.

“People come and ask lots of questions and we encourage our employees to answer questions with the community,” he said. “People should know where their food is coming from … A lot of people don’t have the opportunity to see a baby oyster, so it’s good for kids and adults alike, to come down and learn how shellfish grow and why they need help.”

The FLUPSY, he added, could serve as a jumping off point for more important conversations surrounding why the Tribe needs to use a FLUPSY to raise oysters at all.

“We can start talking about water quality and certainly climate change,” he said. “The lack of wild recruitment is one of the biggest reasons why we have to raise our own using hatcheries and nursing systems like this.”   

On Wednesday, Sept. 23, representatives from the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s Aquaculture Program are expected to present the possible Point Hudson FLUPSY project to Port commissioners as part of the commission’s regular business meeting.

Comments

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David Ginsberg

Will it create any noise?

Wednesday, September 16
Nathaniel Hale

This is exciting news, indeed!

May all the endeavors of Peninsula

tribal enterprises, prosper and grow!

| Thursday, September 17
Just Asking

Is a boat haven a good place for Oysters? What about the petroleum in the water from boats moored there? There is leakage no matter how many rules there are. Oysters are filter feeders, ingesting 20 to 50 gallons of water in which food is taken in. Oil in the water can kill a filter feeder. Just wandering if this was taken into account.

Thursday, September 17
Marge samuelson

For an in depth look at this proposal read Karen Sullivan's article in the Rainshadow Journal. https://rainshadownorthwest.com/

As usual it isn't as simple as it seems.

Wednesday, September 23