PEI

'Pesticide run-off' only plausible cause for fish kill, Green Party says

The leader of the provincial Green Party says more needs to be done to prevent fish kills that happen after heavy rainfalls on P.E.I.

Peter Bevan-Baker calls for stricter rules to protect Island's waterways

More than 300 dead fish were collected from the Clyde River after Sunday's heavy rainfall on P.E.I. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

The leader of the provincial Green Party says more needs to be done to prevent fish kills that happen after heavy rainfalls on P.E.I.

"Things just don't seem to change and that disappoints me," said Peter Bevan-Baker.

More than 300 dead fish have been collected from the Clyde River after Sunday's heavy rain storm, according to Rosie MacFarlane, the freshwater fisheries biologist for province. That includes more than 200 brook trout, 18 rainbow trout, and 63 sticklebacks.

The dead fish include more than 200 brook trout, 18 rainbow trout, and 63 sticklebacks, according to the province's freshwater fisheries biologist. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

Staff from Environment Canada, the provincial Department of Justice and Public Safety and the provincial Department of Communities, Land and Environment are investigating the cause.

But Bevan-Baker said when a large fish kill occurs after a rain storm, "there's really one plausible reason why that could happen, and it's pesticide run-off."

We're not doing enough. It's unacceptable we need to do better.- Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker

Fish kills have become too common on P.E.I., he said.

"We've almost become used to hearing about fish kills, he said.

"You think with each passing year we'll surely we'd figure out why we're having these catastrophic problems and we'll do something to make sure that next year it doesn't happen again. And here we are in 2016 and we have yet another river kill."

Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker wants to see the buffer zone, the area where the ground cannot be disturbed, around P.E.I. waterways increased from 15 metres. (CBC)

'We're not doing enough'

Bevan-Baker said he would like to see the Crop Rotation Act more strictly enforced, and the buffer zones on all P.E.I. waterways increased from the current 15 metres.

"I've met with the [P.E.I.] Potato Board on a number of occasions and they have demonstrated things they are doing to improve things and I think that's great," he said.

"But obviously, because these events continue to happen, we're not doing enough. It's unacceptable we need to do better."

With files from Angela Walker

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