Good news for local fish plants

  • Mar. 5, 2010 6:00 p.m.

The four fish plants on the islands got some good news earlier this week from Environment Canada. At a meeting in Masset on Tuesday, plant managers were told they can keep operating this season, as long as plans for composting their fish waste are in the works.”We are allowed to dump for now, as long as we are aggressively moving forward (with the composting plan)” Debbie Beemer of Masset’s Seapak QCI said, “Environment Canada was happy with that for now.” The issue surfaced in late 2008 when Environment Canada threatened to shut down the four plants because they were dumping fish waste into the ocean, but then relented and allowed them to operate in 2009, as long as they investigated alternate disposal methods.”We have four different interested parties doing some type of composting with our fish offal,” Ms Beemer said, and that one of the four should have moved forward by the end of the summer, and a facility will likely be set up over the next year or two.”It’s good. We are very happy. We left the meeting with a big sigh of relief,” Ms Beemer said, “the direness of our situation has dropped a few notches.”Colleen Marks of Albion Fisheries in Queen Charlotte agreed. “I am very happy with that, extremely,” she said.The meeting with Environment Canada included the managers from Omega Packing, Seapak QCI in Masset and Albion Fisheries in Queen Charlotte. Al told, the plants employ up to 300 people, most part time, including those who supply them.