Last April, a permit was approved to allow Washington shellfish growers in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor to use imidacloprid, an insecticide commonly used in agriculture, to control burrowing shrimp populations destroying oyster farms. Pesticides have been used since 1963, but the news of the permit created such a public backlash that the state withdrew the permit.
Fast forward to 2016, growers are dealing with significant losses and setbacks without a way to control the shrimp. If the problem persists, many family farms will degrade beyond use. The region is also responsible for 25% of the nation's oyster supply. A group of growers is reapplying for the permit, but it would not be allowed until 2017 if it is even approved.
Should imidacloprid be allowed? See the arguments from both sides and share your thoughts with us.