Shoal Point oil possible contributor to vanishing scallop fishery

NDP Environment & Conservation Critic George Murphy

In Port au Port Bay, a once-thriving scallop fishery is now struggling. Workers in the field think the oil leaking from Shoal Point may have contributed to the abrupt drop in shellfish numbers in Port au Port Bay in recent years.

Today, NDP Environment and Conservation critic George Murphy (MHA, St. John’s East) brought their concerns to the House of Assembly’s Question Period.

“Fishing industry insiders are saying that they’ve lost their livelihood possibly from the leaks of oil from Shoal Point. The scallop fishery has been decimated,” Murphy said in the House of Assembly today.

“Accordingly, federal fisheries did not test scallops from the area for petro-chemicals. I ask the minister of fisheries, what action has your department taken in this matter?”

Murphy says that if government is not able or willing to take more action on reports of oil leaks and spills, they might as well instruct the panel currently examining the possibility of lifting the current moratorium on fracking off the province’s coast to make the ban permanent.

“According to the last year’s inaction on the spill reports, the fracking review panel already has an answer whether or not to allowing fracking. Orphaned wells will be an issue of the future,” he said in the House.

“I ask the minister: There is obviously clean-up needed but the companies have long gone. Who pays and when does it get done?”

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