Washington is the leading U.S. producer of farmed bivalves, with a nearly $150 million industry in 2013. As the production of shellfish in Washington intensifies, more of the natural tidelands are being converted to shellfish production. One of the most significant potential environmental impacts from dense shellfish aquaculture is a reduction in shoreline biodiversity. Additionally, the plastic gear used in production can be dislodged in storms or break down into microplastics, adding more plastics to our oceans and beaches.
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