NDP

Belliveau: Marine Resources Protection Committee would help address concerns about tidal impact on Gaspereau fishery

July 27, 2016


HALIFAX – Concerns raised this week about the impact of tidal turbines on the fishing industry in the Gaspereau River is further evidence of the need for a Marine Resources Protection Committee, according to NDP Critic for Fisheries and Aquaculture Sterling Belliveau.

“The success of ocean industries relies on the peaceful coexistence of our centuries-old fishing industry,  modern industries such as offshore oil and gas, and emerging industries such as tidal and offshore wind energy,” said Belliveau.

At a meeting on Monday, fishers raised concerns about the impact of tidal turbines on the ability of Gaspereau, a species of herring, to swim up the Gaspereau River.

“The Minister of Environment has already given Cape Sharp the go-ahead to install tidal turbines and these fishers are just now being consulted,” said Belliveau. “A new approach to ongoing and meaningful stakeholder engagement across industries would be a good first step to build trust with fishers.”

The Marine Resources Protection Committee would include representatives of ocean industries and government, researchers and members from groups focused on environmental protection and conservation. The committee would act as an overall watchdog, with a mandate to consider modern and emerging industries as they relate to the environment and the fishing industry.

“This is not the fishery of my generation or my grandfather’s generation,” said Belliveau. “We need to choose a path forward now that will ensure the fishery of the next generation can exist in harmony with major projects developed by other industries in the ocean sector.”

Last week, Belliveau authored an op-ed recommending the establishment of the Marine Resources Protection Committee that can be read here.

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For more information, call Kaley Kennedy at (902) 229-6881.