Go-ahead for Cooke’s post-smolt site in New Brunswick

Cooke Aquaculture has been given the green light for a land-based post-smolt facility in New Brunswick, on Canada’s Atlantic coast.

The provincial government of New Brunswick has granted a “Certification of Determination to Proceed” to Cooke subsidiary Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd (KCS), for the construction of a proposed CAN $72m (£43m) land-based Atlantic salmon post-smolt aquaculture facility in Bayside, a coastal community in the province’s Charlotte County.

Located in the Champlain Industrial Park alongside the Passamaquoddy Bay, the new facility will be a world-class recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), Cooke said.

KCS began planning the high-tech project in 2017 and received environmental impact assessment approval earlier this year for ground source wells to supply the facility with water. Associated with this facility are two water pipeline corridors and a marine loading facility.

“Hybrid systems, involving a mix of land and marine-based fish farming will continue to be part of our future. We have been operating land-based salmon hatcheries and marine farms sustainably for 38 years,” said Joel Richardson, Vice President of Public Relations for Cooke. “Innovative scientific technologies bring a new opportunity for greater production in ocean waters by shortening time Atlantic salmon spend in marine cages.”

In March of last year, the province’s Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson published the New Brunswick Finfish Aquaculture Growth Strategy 2022-2030. It aims to encourage responsible development in the province’s finfish aquaculture sector with a focus on land-based production.

It is expected the multi-phased project will take three years to complete and create more than 340 direct construction jobs and 222 indirect and induced jobs.

The post-smolt facility is just one of the investments Cooke is making in Charlotte County. Earlier this year, Cooke’s new, CAN $21m (£12.5m) freshwater hatchery in Pennfield became operational, and the company recently completed a CAN $50m (£30m) expansion at its salmon processing plant in St. George.

The project team for the new aquaculture facility includes two local suppliers, Sorensen Engineering Ltd. of Saint Andrew’s and Sweeney International Marine Corp. (SIMCorp) of St. Stephen.

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