A local conservation group wants to help clean up Sidney Pier, the main area for crabbing in Sidney (Black Press Media File).

A local conservation group wants to help clean up Sidney Pier, the main area for crabbing in Sidney (Black Press Media File).

Plan to clean up crabbing area in Sidney catches on with council

A recent dive off the pier found garbage as well as many discarded traps with trapped animals

A Sidney councillor welcomes efforts by local non-profit group to help clean up the waters around Sidney Pier popular with locals as well as visitors.

Coun. Barbara Fallot said she looks forward to the clean up the pier as proposed by Project Baseline Saanich Inlet, a local chapter of the global non-profit Project Baseline committed to scientific documentation and preservation of aquatic environments.

The pier is a popular destination for local residents as well as visitors, with part of its popularity stemming from its status as a crabbing and fishing area.

Project Baseline Saanich Inlet last month offered to clean up the area underneath Sidney Pier following a dive by two members of the group as it asked for municipal assistance.

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“We found a staggering amount of lost crab,” said Jason Cook, a group spokesperson in a letter to council, adding that the duo also found other pieces of garbage including shopping carts. “We originally set out to document the number of traps, but we stopped counting after we found 20. The particular issue with lost or abandoned traps is that they continue to fish and kill marine life as long as they are present. This was made clear by the amount of dead life we found inside the traps.”

Cook said cleaning up the area would allow to life to flourish again in supporting the responsible fishing and crabbing off the area in balancing ecological health and recreation.

The group specifically asked Sidney whether the municipality could supply two staff members and a truck to dispose of any recovered garbage.

While it is not clear when the work would take place, Cook said his group would like to make plan “for sometime soon” when current COVID-19 restrictions have lifted.

Brian Robinson, Sidney’s manager of public works and parks, welcomed the idea in principle and agreed with the group’s proposed timing.

He also suggested that the group reach out to another potential partner. “Working with the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre as a co-sponsor may also have some advantages and we would welcome working with both groups to support such an event,” he said.

Fallot agreed with this approach as councillors received the group’s letter.


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