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Kent County chapter raises concerns about impact of Bay of Fundy tidal turbine on gaspereau

Screen shot from this Darren Porter video, which has had more than 5,000 views.

The Council of Canadians Kent County chapter is raising concerns about the impact of the Cape Sharp Tidal Venture tidal turbine on marine life in the Minas Passage near Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.

Chapter activist Ann Pohl says, “The Spring Run Gaspereau [a species of herring also known as the alewife] in the Minas area of the Bay of Fundy are getting chopped up by something and the turbines are still there somewhere, have not been lifted for whatever reason despite a promise to do so last month, but cables are unhooked so nothing can be seen around them. And to top it all off apparently the Cape Sharp Corporation is planning to move the thing and reinstall it in an area where no study of impact has been done!”

In November 2016, the CBC reported, “The 1,000-tonne, five-storey turbine was lowered onto the floor of the Minas Passage earlier this month. It was quickly connected to land via a subsea cable and started producing electricity almost right away. The deployment is part of a large-scale demonstration project to test the technology in the powerful tides of the Bay of Fundy over the next several years.”

That article adds, “Two companies [OpenHydro and Nova Scotia Power’s parent company Emera] have formed Cape Sharp Tidal to deploy this and one other turbine. Both companies stressed that monitoring has shown there has been no harm to fish or mammals in the bay since the turbine was installed.”

But that article then highlights, “Protestors stationed outside the event were a reminder that not everyone is convinced. Some fishermen in the Bay of Fundy have gone to court to try to reverse the provincial permit that allowed the deployment. They say it poses a threat to the lobster fishery, a claim the province and Cape Sharp Tidal dismiss.”

Earlier this week, CBC reported, “A fishermen’s group in the Bay of Fundy is worried about Cape Sharp Tidal Venture’s plan to temporarily move its tidal turbine from a designated testing area to a site where an environmental assessment has not been carried out. The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association said the move endangers fish and violates the rules governing the development of tidal energy in the area. Cape Sharp Tidal confirms that work is currently underway to remove the turbine. It wants to bring it to another area in the Bay of Fundy to do operational tests that would run about five days.”

That article adds, “Where exactly the turbine would be placed in the Bay of Fundy hasn’t been determined, but [Stacey Pineau, Cape Sharp Tidal’s community relations manager] said the company is considering an area east of Spencers Island near Advocate Harbour in Cumberland County [about 225 kilometres north-west of Halifax].”

Pohl highlights, “Does the McNeil government really want to get re-elected? Looks like NO. Get to the bottom of this and make things right, Stephen McNeil.”

To let the provincial party leaders know you are concerned about the turbine and its impact on marine life, you can tweet:

Stephen McNeil (Liberal) – @StephenMcNeil

Jamie Baillie (Progressive Conservative) –  @JamieBaillie ‏

Gary Burrill (NDP) – @GaryBurrill

Voters in Nova Scotia will cast their ballots on May 30.