Nova Scotia and P.E.I. fishermen’s associations have suspended future meetings with Northern Pulp until an alternative to a proposed effluent pipe into the Northumberland Strait is available for discussion.

The associations made the announcement Feb. 20 at a meeting with Northern Pulp.

Since the proposal was announced last fall, the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board (GNSFPB), the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA), the Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU), representatives from other Nova Scotia fishermen’s associations, and the Pictou Landing First Nations (PLFN) have remained firm on their “no pipe” stance and are frustrated at the lack of an alternative option.

The fishing organizations have identified large gaps and questionable credibility of the science provided by Northern Pulp. The harvesters have made it clear that they do not want the mill to close and want to find an alternative that will not impact either industries or the environment in a negative manner.

According to a press release issued by the GNSFPB, this was the third meeting where the fishermen’s groups have met with Northern Pulp to gather information and discuss different options for the treatment and disposal of the effluent.

Representatives from the groups, however, feel they have reached an impasse, as Northern Pulp continues to defend their pipe proposal, claiming it is their only option. The fishermen’s associations feel their time and energy would be better spent on collecting proper information and building a case rather than on meetings that continue to conclude with the same outcome; no forward progress.

The fishing organizations are willing to resume discussions with Northern Pulp if an alternative solution to the pipe is presented.

As a whole, the fishermen’s associations represent the interests of multi-species accredited fishing organizations, including more than 3,000 harvesters in P.E.I., New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.