The Council of Canadians Kent County chapter has written to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) asking for daily online updates about the injured fish found near a tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy.
Chapter activist Ann Pohl writes, “For a week now, there have been social media reports from Nova Scotia about finding injured fish in the Minas Basin/Passage area. It is not at all clear what is causing this damage. Citizen scientists, fisherfolk and scholars seem to feel this is not caused by natural predators. Based on looking at the shape of the injuries, many people express the opinion that the damage was done by something metal. According to social media again, the fish who are being wounded are coming in from the Bay of Fundy, so they are necessarily swimming right past the Cape Sharp controversial experimental tidal turbine. The river fish, already upstream of the turbine, are fine.”
She adds that via social media the chapter has also learned: DFO is sending an investigatory team to the area, something could now be wrapped around the turbine, the cables to the turbine have either been cut or disconnected, the blades of the turbine are still turning, and that there are plans to move the turbine elsewhere in the Bay of Fundy.
Pohl notes, “We are alarmed that all this information is coming to our chapter via social media. Our chapter is well known to DFO as being concerned about coastal and marine issues in this region. While we are pleased to learn that your department is taking this new crisis seriously and responding promptly, we want to underscore that receiving this information second- or third-hand via Facebook is far from ideal.”
And she concludes, “To ensure public confidence in your efforts, the huge number of concerned people must be kept up-to-date on your efforts and your findings (or lack of them) in real time. We trust you will begin immediately to share daily updates online about: what is being looked at by whom; what procedures are being done in these investigations; what you are looking for; and, what you are learning.”
Pohl’s full letter can be read here.