Improve weather services to help prevent fish kills

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The recent fish kills in West Prince have generated much media attention including an editorial in the Journal Pioneer in which it was suggested that we must do whatever is necessary to prevent any more such disasters in the future.

Several ideas have been put forward, but it was also noted in the editorial that weather conditions at the time were, at least, partially responsible, and we cannot do anything about the weather.

Perhaps not, but we could and should try to improve the weather services to P.E.I. I am not being critical of the staff at Environment Canada as I truly believe that, considering the circumstances, they are doing an excellent job.

No, the problem, as I see it, is that Environment Canada is responsible for a very large region and with very limited resources they do not have the time to concentrate on any one area.

Someone should be responsible to watch and analyze the weather patterns on P.E.I. constantly and be prepared to issue warnings and advisories whenever necessary thereby allowing farmers (and others) to make informed decisions.

Unfortunately the recent announcement that there will be reductions in staffing at Environment Canada will result in a further deterioration of service.

After nearly 25 years of trying to forecast the weather I am well aware that it is not an exact science and that other measures will also have to be taken. However, because it is not an exact science is precisely why someone has to be constantly on watch and be prepared to act quickly.

We should do whatever is necessary to prevent any more fish kills and improving the weather service is just one measure that could be taken.

Gerry Reichheld


Organizations: Environment Canada, Journal Pioneer

Geographic location: West Prince

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