CBC: Sewage closes shellfishery again

Sewage closes shellfishery again
Canadian Broadcasting Corp., 17 June 2011, 242 Words, (English)
Oyster fishermen in the Charlottetown area are getting fed up as sewage from the city closed down shellfishing in and around Charlottetown Harbour for a third time this year.

A section of Charlottetown’s sewage system is outdated, combining the sanitary and storm sewers, which overwhelms the sewage treatment system in heavy rains, pouring untreated sewage into the water. The fishery was closed down a number of times in 2010 as well.

The city says it is working on fixing the problem, but it needs to find $20 million to do it. Fishermen are questioning a rule from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that forces each shut down to last a week.

“We don’t mind a day or two, you know, if it’s too contaminated and it needs to be closed because of that, OK, close it. We don’t want anyone to get sick,” said Dwayne Shaw, who harvests oysters on the Hillsborough River.

“But if the levels are back to normal after three days, let us know and let us back out there. Don’t make a mandatory week of it.”

Shaw said fishermen can fish elsewhere on the Island, but they make twice as much money fishing the rivers around Charlottetown. He said DFO should have a phone number that fishermen can call for information about the latest closures.

DFO said they’ll consider the suggestion.

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