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LETTER: Effluent piped into Strait raises concerns

Re: Concerns on proposed new treatment system for Northern Pulp (diffused outfall pipe dumping into Northumberland Strait).

In a recent article that appeared in the Herald on Nov. 22 by Northern Pulp’s Kathy Cloutier; she concluded her article stating that “…it’s not a question of forestry or fishery. As has been the case for the past 50 years in the Northumberland Strait, we can continue to have both in operation with no impact to one another’s livelihood.” As fishers and taxpayers in Nova Scotia we find this statement as a conclusion to be questionable.

As fishers we remember that Northern Pulp was charged by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on Aug. 27, 2015, for an effluent spill of four to five million litres of effluent into the Northumberland Strait on June 10, 2014.

Boat Harbour has been stated by much media as an environmental disaster and much Nova Scotian taxpayers’ money will be used to clean up this disaster and we are led to believe that dumping it into the Strait will solve one Industry’s problem that Kathy talks about.

As fishers, we have great concern for the future. Once this is piped out into the Strait there will be no turning back. Over the last years we have made many efforts to make our industry sustainable. Efforts including releasing a number of our big female lobster that are part of our commercial stock back into the waters at the end of our season to ensure higher egg production. These and all other eggs once hatched float to the surface as small lobster that swim in the upper level waters for several weeks. As the fresh water diffused outfall rises to the surface of the salt water the lobster stock of our future will be swimming in those diffusing outfalls; they will not survive.

Fishers are concerned that our provincial Environment Department will approve this based on some scientific evidence (opinion) stating that it will do no harm.

As president of one of the local Fishermen’s Associations we truly do not wish to see an impact to local jobs, however, we will not support the releasing of any outfall into the fishing grounds of the Northumberland Strait.

Brendan Doyle

President of the Gulf of Nova Scotia Bonafide Fishermen’s Organization

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