Just one month after the annual cleanup, the shores of Denman Island are contaminated once again, with hundreds of trays, baskets, buckets, pouches, and ropes, courtesy of the offshore rafts. Photo courtesy Edina Johnston

Just one month after the annual cleanup, the shores of Denman Island are contaminated once again, with hundreds of trays, baskets, buckets, pouches, and ropes, courtesy of the offshore rafts. Photo courtesy Edina Johnston

LETTER – One month after shore cleanup, aquaculture pollution once again washing up on Denman beaches

Dear editor,

One month ago the beaches surrounding Denman Island were clean (thanks to the annual beach clean up volunteers) and tons of mostly escaped deep water shellfish raft equipment was hauled away. Then the wind blew and the west side of Denman was littered, once again, with hundreds of trays, baskets, buckets, pouches, and ropes, courtesy of the offshore rafts.

Those who walked the beaches then spent the next few days picking up this equipment out of the tide line and putting it up high to stop it grinding away in the tide, which creates microplastics that contaminate the marine environment and specifically, the shellfish, with carcinogens.

When the wind died and waters were calm again, the shellfish boats in the area were carrying on as normal while every 50 feet, a pile of collected shellfish industry equipment sat on the beach.

Will the residents and visitors have to pick up after this selfish shellfish industry again, even though DFO’s job is to enforce the conditions of licence, which prohibits the escapement of equipment?

DFO has (as in the past) allocated $150,000 this year and $200,000 next year to the local shellfish growers as an incentive for the industry to clean up its own mess. Perhaps this was one of the recommendations from the pricey international consulting company DFO hired to tell them that they should actually do their job, enforce conditions of licence and return to tenure inspections instead of leaving inspections to tenure owners. DFO needs to stop throwing good taxpayer money after bad and just do its job!

Edina Johnston,

Denman Island

Letter to the Editor

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