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LETTER: Proposal spells trouble for fishery

Great to see the article about the very polluting Pulp Mill at Abercrombie in the May 22 edition of The News and The Herald. Long overdue yet this is the reality of area residents.

Missing was the effect the proposed new systems for the mill will have on the waters where the proposed pipe outlet from the mill goes and on all aquatic life, especially on lobster larvae when they hatch in July and live the first month near the top of the water column. Cold water lobster larvae live best in 10C water. As water temp increases, as it will due to climate change and warmer seasons, the larvae die off until at 22C there are none alive.

The engineer design firm predicts waste water temps will vary year-round between 23C and 37 in July and August. Mix this with naturally warmer water and there are no larvae surviving. By the fifth year after such a pipe spews out there will be no lobster industry in a large part of the southern Northumberland Strait. Other fin fish will be similarly affected. Some will move away to cooler waters. Others will disappear. When the food mackerel feed on disappears, so too will the mackerel and the tuna that feed on the mackerel.

A steady stream of mill waste will gradually contaminate the bottoms of shallow water, even more than does Boat Harbour’s partly treated cooler waste water, and the shell fish will die off over a larger area. There is a dead water zone off the outlet of Boat Harbour.

It is noted the mill has installed a system onto one of the five stacks that reduces the particulate matter from that one stack. Nothing is proposed for the second boiler stack nor for the others. The VOCs will keep on polluting the air surrounding the mill. Long-term exposure to these results in poor health of humans. Short-term exposure drives tourists away.

  1. the last 12 years the population of the Town of Pictou has decreased. Young people graduate from high school and move away – never to return in most cases due to the stench and pollution in the air. Some days the air pollution reaches all the way to our home 45 kilometres away.

Don Wilson

Brule Point

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