News release

Fish Farms Approved for St. Mary's Bay

Two new aquaculture sites approved for St. Mary's Bay, Digby Co., will create good jobs in southwest Nova Scotia, while clear, detailed license agreements will ensure protection for other marine industries and the coastal environment.

"The government will ensure there are no significant adverse effects of salmon farming on the marine environment and its associated fisheries, including the valuable lobster fishery," said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau.

The decision to issue these sites to Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture Inc., was made after a comprehensive application process that lasted 14 months.

The extensive technical review conducted by department staff and a Canadian Environmental Assessment Act review, involving federal agencies including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, concluded that the proposed Atlantic salmon farms pose a minimal risk of adverse effects to fish, fish habitat and fisheries resources.

In addition to the environmental screening, the province conducted public consultations and participated in a First Nations consultation with Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Mr. Belliveau gave serious consideration to the concerns raised throughout the application process.

"The terms and conditions accompanying the licence-lease documents ensure that the farms will operate in a sustainable manner over the long term. My department, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada and other agencies actively regulate and enforce the rules in place."

Some conditions attached to the licences and leases include the need for the holder to:

  • follow a code of containment for Atlantic salmon in marine net pens
  • participate in the province's Environmental Monitoring Program audited by department staff and shared with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and which requires third-party monitoring and analysis of water samples
  • submit annual production and employment reports
"A significant breach of any of these, or one of the many other terms and conditions, could result in the cancellation of an aquaculture licence or lease," said Mr. Belliveau.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Two new aquaculture sites approved for St. Mary's Bay, Digby County will create good jobs in southwest Nova Scotia, while clear, detailed license agreements will ensure protection for other marine industries and the coastal environment.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau says the government will ensure there are no significant adverse effects of salmon farming on the marine environment and its associated fisheries, including the valuable lobster fishery.

The decision to issue these sites to Kelly Cove Salmon Limited, a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture Incorporated was made after a comprehensive application process that lasted 14 months.

Mr. Belliveau says the terms and conditions accompanying the licence-lease documents ensure the farms will operate in a sustainable manner over the long term.

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Media Contact:

Celeste Sulliman
Fisheries and Aquaculture 902-424-0192 E-mail: