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Kent County chapter produces research document on dead herring crisis

The Council of Canadians Kent County chapter has produced a research document on the possibly millions of dead herrings that recently washed ashore along Nova Scotia’s western coastline.

Five other Atlantic-based Council of Canadians chapters – South Shore, PEI, St. John’s, Saint John, and Fredericton – along with Maitland, Nova Scotia-based Board of Directors member Moira Peters and myself added their names in support of the document.

Kent County chapter activist Ann Pohl writes, “For now, the herringcide crisis in the Bay of Fundy may be over. The last observed occurrence of this winter’s major die-off was January 4, 2017. However, if [the Department of Fisheries and Oceans] walks away from this now, we may well see more of the same at the time of the Spring Herring Run in the Upper Fundy. In my worst fears, there may be another round of herringcide.”

She highlights, “The inescapable conclusion of those watching closely is that, in some way not yet determined, human activity led to this mass death [thus the term herringcide]. Not identifying the cause is a huge failure. DFO research could have led to breakthroughs that would support super-stressed marine life coping with our dying oceans and critically ill planet.”

Pohl concludes, “The intent of this document is to support community partners to rouse federal and provincial action. Emerging ecocrises are learning opportunities; we MUST study and understand what is actually happening on our planet. In specific, in this instance, we must sleuth our way to the core of the learnings that so many herring sacrificed their lives to give us. We must do this for the sake of all future generations of ALL LIFE on this planet.”

To read her full document, please click here.

In December 2016, Pohl launched this petition calling on federal Fisheries minister Domenic LeBlanc, Nova Scotia premier Stephen McNeil and New Brunswick premier Brian Gallant to address the issue of herring die-offs.

That petition asks them to hold “a joint public conference with concerned citizens and the media, to provide updates regarding the herring die-offs, and to indicate steps that will be taken immediately to improve transparency, collaboration, reporting, and resourcing between citizens and frontline DFO staff.”

That petition – open for just one more week – has now been signed by 69,756 people!

For further background, please see this campaign blog.