Aquaculture Development Approved at St. Ann's Harbour, Cape Breton

Agriculture and Fisheries (to Feb.23, 2006)

February 21, 2002 11:15 AM

An aquaculture development planned for St. Ann's Harbour,
Victoria Co., has been given the go ahead. Ernest Fage, Minister
of Agriculture and Fisheries, made the announcement today.

Development of the blue mussel farm will be phased in over the
next four to six years.

"My decision to approve this mussel farm is based on the results
of a thorough two-year government and public consultative
review," said Mr. Fage. "We have examined the sites and
anticipate that the mussel farm, with certain conditions, could
be viable."

The local economy is expected to get a boost as the project
includes the development of a processing plant in the community.
Over the next four years it is hoped that the combined farm and
plant operations could provide up to 50 jobs.

Bounty Bay Inc. of Prince Edward Island and four Englishtown,
Victoria Co., fishermen will own and operate the mussel farm.

As part of the approval, Mr. Fage will establish a Community
Liaison Committee in the area to review the planning and
construction of the sites and to keep the community informed
about development. It will report to the minister every year on
the farm's progress.

An environmental monitoring plan will be put in place before
mussels go into the water. This monitoring plan will help the
developers manage their farms sustainably. There will be a
moratorium on further mussel sites in St. Ann's Harbour during
the 10-year tenure of these leases.

"It is always a challenge to find a reasonable balance for all
the users of our coastal resource," said Mr. Fage. "However, we
have fully examined the merits of this project and we are
satisfied that the community will benefit from the mussel farm
and plant."

Construction of the mussel operation is expected to begin this
spring. It will take several years for the farm to reach full
production.

Aquaculture is a $50-million industry in Nova Scotia. It employed
one thousand people last year. Blue mussels accounted for $1.4
million in sales in 2000.

FOR BROADCAST USE:
     The provincial agriculture and fisheries department

approved the development of a Blue mussel farm in St. Ann's

Harbour, Victoria County.

     Fisheries Minister Ernest Fage says his decision to approve

the aquaculture site is based on a thorough two-year government

review that included an environmental analysis and public

consultation.

     The mussel farm operators, Bounty Bay Incorporated and four

Englishtown fishermen, plan to open a processing plant in the

community. The entire development is expected to

provide up to 50 jobs.

     It will take four to six years for the farm to reach full

production.

-30-

Contact: Natalie Webster
         Agriculture and Fisheries
         902-424-0192
         E-mail: webstenj@gov.ns.ca

         Leo Muise
         Director, Aquaculture
         Agriculture and Fisheries
         902-424-3664

kjd         February 21, 2002        11:12 A.M.