News Release Archive

Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Jim Barkhouse today announced
decisions regarding future aquaculture development in the
Annapolis Basin.

For the next seven years development in the basin will be limited
to the four existing finfish leases, a scallop operation, and up
to two small experimental shellfish sites.

The environmental monitoring program already underway will
continue, and a carrying capacity study will be conducted.  These
system-wide studies will be funded by government, while
leaseholders will be responsible for site-specific testing.

Mr. Barkhouse said the four finfish sites will be restricted in
size, and stocking capacity will be limited to 120,000 fish per
year-class, up to a  maximum of 240,000 fish at any one site.
Leases will be issued for a ten-year term. Applications for an
expanded scallop operation and two experimental, non-shellfish
sites, excluding clams, will also be considered by the province.

"Development in the Annapolis Basin is the result of years of
hard work by many people. I want to commend and thank everyone
who has taken part in the Regional Aquaculture Development
Advisory Committee, and I appreciate their efforts to find
solutions. The decisions we are taking today are the result of
careful consideration and reflect a fair balance of many
different interests," the minister said.

Mr. Barkhouse said compensation for parties claiming harm to
their livelihood as a result of aquaculture activity in the
Annapolis Basin is a major concern. He said persons who are found
responsible for polluting or damaging the marine environment are
subject to stringent penalties under federal law.

Moreover, he said the province will ensure an independent third
party will review and report on any environmental damage
attributed to aquaculture operations. The province will also
assist user groups to resolve complex compensation issues with
the marine insurance industry.

Mr. Barkhouse said that results from experimental activities in
the basin over the last two years have yielded helpful
information on biological conditions, grow-out success and
potential environmental impacts.

"We feel confident that aquaculture is ready to proceed to the
next phase, but at the same time we want to proceed carefully, in
keeping with the province's commitment to long-term sustainable

"The long-range prospects for aquaculture in the Annapolis Basin
are very promising. It is quite realistic to anticipate annual
revenues in excess of $15 million ," he said, noting that spinoff
activities related to servicing the industry will substantially
increase the potential for economic growth and job creation in
western Nova Scotia.


Contact: Diane Kenny  902-424-0308

trp                       Apr. 12, 1996 - 3:45 p.m.