Licensing & Leasing

Aquaculture is conducted in both the marine and the terrestrial environment in Nova Scotia. The practice of aquaculture in Nova Scotia requires a Licence from the Province, and those wishing to conduct aquaculture in the marine environment, also require a lease from the Province for the use of the Crown waterway and bottom. Although NSDFA is the primary regulator of Aquaculture in Nova Scotia, the Aquaculture Division works in concert with a variety of Federal Regulators which include Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Transport Canada (TC), Environment Canada (EC), and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Numerous other Departments and Agencies of the Government of Nova Scotia also provide advice to the Aquaculture Division in relation to Aquaculture applications.

At present, to receive an aquaculture licence or lease, applicants make application to the Licensing Services unit of the Aquaculture Division. While this process will remain with the new Regulatory environment, specific elements will be modified. The approval process involves an internal review of the operator’s plans, review by other Federal and Provincial entities, and an element of public consultation dependent on the nature of the application. Upon completion of these processes, all of the feedback and review comments are evaluated and a decision is made to either issue or deny the application. Existing licence holders follow a similar process to renew, amend, or assign already issued aquaculture licences or leases. Licensing and Leasing staff are responsible for file management of over 300 Aquaculture files and are located on the campus of the Nova Scotia Community College, in Shelburne.

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