In the past six months there have been three huge fish mortality crises on the Nova Scotia side of the Bay of Fundy. One is happening right now.
Halifax – Ecotourism operators, local residents, and small-scale fisherfolk depend on a vibrant healthy Bay of Fundy for their moderate livelihoods. They say Nova Scotia’s electric generation program is a cause in:
- the deaths of millions of herring during the winter on the shore of the Fundy from Annapolis to Yarmouth;
- all the mutilated fish in gill nets earlier this month in the Minas Basin area; and
- countless gaspereau coming up the Gaspereau River to spawn arriving dead this past weekend.
“Annapolis Valley, Sipekne’katik and other Mi’kmaq leaders are alarmed by this neglect of stewardship for the shared waters,” said Ann Pohl, spokesperson for the Kent County (New Brunswick) chapter of the Council of Canadians. “The Council of Canadians’ appeals, to both provincial and federal leaders to do their job of conservation and protection, have been ignored. All the federal and provincial governments seem to care about is using the Bay’s waters to generate electricity for export to the U.S.”
Since time immemorial, the Mi’kmaq people have made their sustainable livelihoods from the ocean. For more than 400 years, Acadian, British, and other Nova Scotians have also been providing for their families through the bounty of the sea. Nova Scotia’s history and culture as a colony, and now as a province, is all about its connection to salt water.
“Oceans are in critical trouble all over the world due to climate issues and pollution. Canada has a major role to play in coastal and ocean protection, with more shoreline than any other nation in the world. We are not doing enough,” said Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer with the Council of Canadians. “Our Kent County chapter has begun mobilizing a national Council network of ocean and marine life protectors, but that won’t help the fish that are dying now. Governments must step up, especially our newly elected NS government as of Wednesday.”
Here is a link to the backgrounder for the Council’s emerging ocean defense network.
- Darren Porter, Gill Net Fisher/Fundy “Three-Eyed” Study Coordinator: 902-998-7693
- Ann Pohl, Kent County NB Chapter, Council of Canadians: 506-785-2998
- Angela Giles, Atlantic Regional Organizer, Council of Canadians: 902-478-5727