The Prince Edward Island Potato Board is disappointed and concerned about the fish mortality events that occurred in western PEI. Board members and staff will be working with the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the local watershed group, and land owners in the area to determine the cause of fish mortality in these events and take any appropriate steps to mitigate further similar events in the future.
Environmental sustainability is important to PEI potato growers and to the PEI Potato Board. The Board has been active in organizing buffer zone workshops between farmers and Department officials in recent years in order to maximize compliance with buffer zone legislation.
In the past year, representatives of the Board have been active participants in the Action Committee formed to investigate fish mortality in the Barclay Brook in western PEI. In this case, the site was evaluated and specific actions were identified with respect to the unique features of this watershed area. Recommendations from this committee report have been communicated to Island potato growers and education on approved soil conservation techniques and programs is ongoing. Practices currently in place (buffer zones, headland regulations, erosion control structures) are working in the majority of fields; however, when issues such as this occur, the topography and practices relating to the area in question should be quickly evaluated and measures put in place to prevent future environmental effects. Department of Agriculture and Forestry engineers have already been on site in western PEI to evaluate the situation.
Prince Edward Island potato growers take these events seriously and will work with all stakeholders to prevent future fish mortalities from occurring.