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Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture

Rockweed Lease

Who Needs This Lease?
  Anyone who wants to exclusively manage the harvesting of rockweed along a portion of Nova Scotia shoreline for commercial purposes.

Individuals who want to harvest rockweed for personal use do not have to have a lease and may harvest in any area, including leased areas, within the province unless it is an area designated as closed by the Minister.

NOTE: The province encourages such leases for conflict resolution, effective resource management and stewardship. This property right provides a level of security to the lease holder.

Issuing Department / Agency:
  Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture
Where can you get this Lease and / or further information?

Wendy Vissers
Marine Plant Advisor
Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture

Tel: 902-526-3617
Fax: 902-638-2389


173 Haida St.
Cornwallis, NS B0S 1H0

Mailing Address:
173 Haida St.
Cornwallis, NS B0S 1H0

Application Forms & Process:
  1. The two required application forms (forms A and B) and general regulations can be obtained from the Fisheries and Aquaculture Services Division of Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture (see above).

  2. An applicant must present Notice of Application not less than 20 days before the application is actually made. This notice shall contain:
    1. the name and residence of the Applicant;
    2. a description of the area in respect of which the application is made; and
    3. the date of the application.

  3. The notice shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county or counties to which the area is contiguous, and in the Royal Gazette, not less than 10 days before the date of application.

  4. Any person who objects to the issuance of a lease in respect of the area mentioned in the notice shall notify the Minister not more than 7 days after the date of publication of the later of the two notices required by #3 (above).

    If any objection to the issuance of a lease is received, the Minister may hold a public hearing at a time and place determined by the Minister, and shall notify the applicant and the person or persons who have given notice under #4 (above) of the time and place of the hearing.
Waiting Period:
  1-3 months
Price:  (No tax is charged)

As of April 1, 2015, there is a new fee structure:

Initial Application: nil
Annual Fee: $663.45 and $2.45 per wet tonne royalty over 268 tonnes

Expiry & Renewal:
  An initial lease is normally issued for 2-3 years. It can be renewed, up to a maximum of 15 years without public process, and beyond with public process.  The renewal time is the end date of the original period of the lease.  The renewal process is started by the lease holder, who should contact the Department before the lease expires.
Related Requirements:
  A Marine Plants Harvesting Licence from Fisheries and Oceans Canada is required by anyone who harvests rockweed. The leaseholder and those involved in the actual harvest who are only harvesting in the leased area are exempt of this requirement.
Additional Information:
  An applicant must submit to the Department a harvesting plan which includes estimates on wet tonnage, as well as a business plan which discusses the end use of the rockweed, along with Form A/Notice of Application.
Legislative Authority:
  Part VI (Sea Plants Harvesting) of the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act. Chapter 25, Acts of 1996 and (to date) the Sea Plants Harvesting Regulations of the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act, 1989, Chapter 416.

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