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Boats to block Pictou Harbour all week, say fishermen opposed to effluent pipe

Fishing boats surround a survey boat that was forced to return to Pier C in Pictou Tuesday by fishermen opposed to Northern Pulp’s plans to pump treated effluent into local waters.
Fishing boats surround a survey boat that was forced to return to Pier C in Pictou last month by fishermen opposed to Northern Pulp’s plans to pump treated effluent into local waters. - Sueann Musick / File

PICTOU, N.S. — Fishing boats blocked Pictou Harbor Monday morning, Nov. 5 and promised to continue with the same approach throughout the week in a continued protest of Northern Pulp’s plans to put pipe carrying treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait.

“It’s not going to be violent, we’re just going to block Pictou Harbour,” said fisherman Darryl Bowen. “If they come out, we’ll just get in front of them”

In a phone interview, Bowen said that they were on the water from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Nov. 5 and that they’ll be back every day this week.

“There was no sign of the boat this morning but we’d been hearing rumours that they’d be starting surveying this morning,” he said. “We’re going to be here every morning.”

The protest action comes two weeks after Northern Pulp’s survey boat was turned around by fishermen.

Northern Pulp is trying to map the harbour to come up with a route to run their pipe for treated effluent. Their current effluent treatment facility, which empties into Boat Harbour, is required to close by January 2020.

Kathy Cloutier, Northern Pulp’s director of communications, has said that the survey boat isn’t currently in the water and that the safety of the company’s employees and contractors is their number one concern.

RCMP Cpl. Ron Bryce has said that the RCMP are keeping an eye on the harbor.

“Everybody has the right to protest of course, but we just want to make sure that cooler heads prevail and that everybody abides by the law, and that they’re safe on water and on the land.”

Related links:

Here's how Northern Pulp says its effluent treatment plan would work

Environmental experts offer insight on proposed design

Fishermen and Northern Pulp at an impasse

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