Fishermen to block Northern Pulp's survey vessel from entering Northumberland Strait

A group of Northumberland Strait fishermen say they will block a survey boat hired by the Northern Pulp mill from entering the strait to do work on a proposed new route for an effluent pipe.

Darryl Bowen, a fisherman from Caribou, N.S., says he will make sure his boat or another fishing vessel is placed in front of the survey vessel if it attempts to leave Pictou's harbour in northeastern Nova Scotia.

He says the protest by fishermen from several ports starts Monday but will continue as long as necessary to prevent the survey from taking place.

Though the Northern Pulp mill near Pictou provides key jobs for the town of about 3,000 residents, its pipeline plan has raised concerns about the impact on the lobster fishery, other seafood businesses and protected areas along the coast.

Under provincial legislation, the mill has until 2020 to replace its current wastewater treatment plant in Boat Harbour, and Premier Stephen McNeil has confirmed he is sticking with that deadline.

After years of pumping 70 million litres of treated waste daily into lagoons on the edge of the nearby Pictou Landing First Nation reserve, Northern Pulp wants to pipe it directly into the strait that separates Nova Scotia from P.E.I.