The Petersburg Borough Assembly unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting the disposal of fish scraps in the harbors during its regular meeting Monday afternoon.
This ordinance is only in its first reading and there will be two other opportunities to amend or reject it in the future.
This ordinance reflects the Borough's Transition Plan requirement for harbor and port services to be provided on an area wide basis. The ordinance is a rewrite of the current City of Petersburg ordinance. The new ordinance sets forth sections of the ordinance that apply to the existing harbors including a new section that limits fish cleaning at cleaning stations only and prohibits disposal of fish or animal carcasses and parts.
“We are putting the responsibility back on the person to take care of their waste,” Petersburg Harbormaster Glorianne Wollen stated. “In the case of the north and middle harbors, people can simply walk to the end of the float and simply dump it where there is a lot of current. Those using the cleaning station will either have to take it home to dispose of it or take it back out away from the inner harbor to dispose of it.”
The addition to this ordinance states that the cleaning of fish, shellfish or other animal on any portion of the municipal harbors except at designated fish cleaning stations; or the disposal of any fish, shellfish or other animal or waste parts of fish, shellfish or other animal into the water's shore side of the outer most float system; or into municipal dumpsters. These prohibitions in this section apply to Service Area 1 only.
“Does that mean that we have to clean crab or shellfish at the fish cleaning stations?” Petersburg Borough Assembly member John Hoag asked. “It reads as if we cannot clean shellfish before coming into the harbor.”
Wollen responded that the law states that crab must be brought into the harbor, but it can be cleaned on the boat.
“If crab is cleaned before arriving in the harbor, just do not dump the waste,” she stated. “There are procedures for crab and when those procedures are met, then it can be dumped.”
According to Wollen, the sea lion aggressiveness has not subsided but this is the first step in the direction of making this problem better.