ABERCROMBIE – Local fishers are protesting a proposed outflow pipe into the Northumberland Strait from a new on-sight effluent treatment facility at Northern Pulp.
Edwin Shaw and Dave Scanlan took turns on Wednesday standing beside signs at the end of the entrance road where it intersects Abercrombie Road.
They are among those who want a closed loop effluent treatment system that does not include the proposed pipe to discharge water into the strait. They agree that the option would harm the local fishery and want a full federal Department of Environment and Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) assessment of the proposal that would go beyond the scope of the 50-day review the province has allocated.
“I just a full environmental assessment, not the 50 days being proposed,” Shaw said. “This is a federal thing. They owe the fishermen and citizens a full assessment. It’s not too much to ask in a democracy.”
Shaw was doing picket duty early Wednesday morning, although he is still fishing scallops before the season ends this fall.
He has fished for 37 years, harvesting his share of the seasonal volumes of lobster, crab, herring and scallops. His four other siblings once fished but are currently living and working out west.
Shaw said he agrees with those saying the fresh water contained in the discharge will harm younger fish.
The pickets were also in place on Tuesday, while more fishers were prepared to join Shaw and Scanlan later on Wednesday. Shaw said support for the protest has been mixed.
“You get lots of toots and lots of fingers,” he said.
The protest has come in the wake of Pictou County Municipal Council’s decision at a special committee meeting on Monday to also call for a provincial and federal review that includes environment and DFO input.
Edwin Shaw stands at the Northern Pulp entrance road to protest the proposed outflow pipe into the Northumberland Strait from a new on-sight effluent treatment facility. (Goodwin photo)