Tag Archives: Clean Coast Clean Waters Initiative

Coastal communities ‘fed up’ with B.C. shellfish sector’s plastics problem

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Coastal communities are tired of paying to clean up plastic and debris from the B.C. shellfish industry to protect the marine environment, stewardship groups say.

The amount of garbage being retrieved from beaches in areas where shellfish aquaculture is concentrated grows year after year, and there’s little apparent enforcement by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to deal with the issue, said Dorrie Woodward, chair of the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards (ADIMS).

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Southern Discovery Islands beach clean-up completed

The southern Discovery Islands beach clean-up is now finished.  

“The last truck load of debris left our yard this morning. So we’re now just into the final stages of cleaning up our own yard as a result of all the little styrofoam balls and things,” said Breanne Quesnel.

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Cleaning-up the shoreline from Comox to the northern Discovery Islands

The Campbell River Association of Tour Operators finished (CRATO) cleaning up Vancouver Island’s shoreline from Comox to Chatham Point, at the entrance of the Johnstone Strait, and is now working in the northern Discovery Islands.

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Beach clean-up in Southern Discovery Islands

A massive beach clean-up is underway in the intertidal zones of the Southern Discovery Islands. 

“The volume of debris we are finding is mind blowing. We are focusing on larger items instead of the tiny little microplastics. We’re trying to get the larger items out before they become the microplastics,” explained Breanne Quesnel. “I know we have some very responsible aquaculture operations in our region, but the amount of aquaculture debris is mind boggling: styrofoam, trays; baskets; nettings and things that have just gotten away at one point – or derelict sites.”

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Small ship operator’s beach clean-up

“If we can go out and clean up – helping another set of communities like the Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai’Xais and Gitga’at – we can certainly start cleaning up our community. That’s what I’d really like to see coming out of this,” said Jonas Fineman

He was one of nine eco-tour captains who had just returned from a beach clean up along BC’s central coast. 

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