Oyster fishing around Charlottetown has frequently been stopped this year. (CBC)

P.E.I.'s fisheries minister is looking for a short-term solution for oyster fishermen who harvest in Charlottetown Harbour, which is often closed by sewage spills.

Fishing in the harbour has been shut down repeatedly by overflows of the city's sewage system. Storm water overwhelms the system in heavy rain.

Fisheries Minister Neil LeClair said alternate plans are needed because upgrades may take some time. In a news release Friday, he said he is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to come up with different ways to ensure harvesting is able to continue.

He wants more frequent testing to reduce the number and duration of the closures.

"In the end, we want to support the fishery and ensure our customers that we have the safest shellfish products harvested anywhere," he said.

"We are confident that, when the necessary changes are in place, the frequent closures of shellfish areas in the Charlottetown Harbour area due to bypasses will become a thing of the past."

The harbour has been closed to people who harvest oysters several times this year and fishery workers have taken their concerns to government.

The city has said it will take up to three years and more than $24 million to separate the storm and sanitary sewers, and solve the problems of overflows.