Monday, January 17, 2011

Rays Boathouse Serving Wild Steelhead

It has come to our attention that Ray's Boathouse in Seattle is serving wild steelhead caught on the Olympic Peninsula. Despite the fact that Peninsula steelhead returns continue to dwindle with each passing run cycle restraunts buy wild steelhead caught in tribal fisheries and advertise it as fresh and sustainable. This is absolutely unacceptable. Write Rays an email today and tell them to stop serving wild steelhead now.

Feel free to use this form letter.


It has come to my attention that your restaurant is serving wild steelhead from the Queets River (and presumably other rivers) from the Quinault Indian Tribe. Wild steelhead are endangered species act listed throughout much of their range in the United States. In Washington State, stocks of steelhead in the Columbia River, Snake River, and all of Puget Sound have been listed under the ESA within the last 20 years. Steelhead in other areas in Washington continue to decline. In coastal areas on the Olympic Peninsula where the Quinaults and other tribes fish, rivers are largely protected in the Olympic National Park, so freshwater habitat is in very good condition. Yet in recent years several of the rivers including the Hoh, Queets, Quileute (including the Sol Duc, Bogahciel and Calawah), and others, have failed to meet the minimum spawning escapement goals established by the state. The Hoh river has failed to meet its goal the majority of years recently, and in 2009 none of the above mentioned rivers met their goals, and the Queets missed its goal by more than 1/2, meaning that less than half the minimum number of fish needed to spawn to produce the next generation did so. This failure to meet escapement goals is a major conservation issue and could result in coastal stocks being ESA listed eventually too. Yet it is totally preventable. In all of the cases where escapement goals were not met, had tribal harvest been curtailed, escapement would have been met, meaning that the run was large enough to meet the goals but due to irresponsible and unsustainable tribal overharvest, the runs did not meet their goals. I am very disappointed to see your fine restaurant supporting this unsustainable harvest of wild steelhead and would ask that your restaurant take it off the menu immediately. All of the data I have referenced above is available from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife if you would like to see it for yourself. Please stop serving wild steelhead. Thank you.


1 comment:

Peter Birk said...

Thank you to everyone who contacted us regarding this critical issue. Ray's is no longer serving Steelhead. We will continue to work hard to find truly sustainable sources for our products and appreciate your comments at any time. Thank you for your time and passion.


Peter Birk, Executive Chef
Ray’s Boathouse, CafĂ© & Catering
6049 Seaview Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98107