Communication: the basics are sometime the best

With all the fancy iPhone apps and text notifications and Intertube what-have-youse, sometimes the basics work better.

CBC News reports fishermen in P.E.I. (that’s in Canada) say government emails and web postings don’t compare to flags in the water when it comes to warning them about high bacteria levels in shellfish.

The shellfishery in Charlottetown Harbour was closed on several occasions this summer when heavy rains caused the sewer system to overflow, creating high bacteria levels. Fishermen complained they weren’t getting adequate warning of the closures, which would enable them to harvest oysters and mussels ahead of the storm.

As Hurricane Earl made its way toward the Maritimes last month, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency emailed people in the shellfish industry. It warned the storm could bring heavy rains and lead to closures.

John White, a policy officer with CFIA, told CBC News this was the last time such a warning would be issued. CFIA is opting for posting a notice on its website telling the industry that fishers are responsible for checking the forecast.

The P.E.I. Shellfish Association suggests putting yellow warning flags in the water when there’s a possible closure and a red one when the fishery is shut down.

Just like a red or yellow or green sign on a restaurant. Because who wants to check a web site when you just want to grab a meal?