Hearing dates set for Cooke’s Nova Scotia application

Public hearings to consider a licence application by Cooke Aquaculture for two new farm sites in Liverpool Bay, Nova Scotia will take place in February next year, the Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board has announced.

The hearing dates have been set as February 05, 2024 to February 09, 2024.

Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd (KCS), a Cooke subsidiary, is seeking approval for an existing site boundary amendment at Coffin Island and two new marine finfish aquaculture licenses and leases for the cultivation of Atlantic salmon in Liverpool Bay at Brooklyn and Mersey Point, Nova Scotia.

In a statement released yesterday, Kelly Cove welcomed the opportunity to present its case and said: “After years of provincial government oversight and regulatory enhancements by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA) to ensure best aquaculture practices are conducted for sustainability, if successful, the KCS application would enable a modest Nova Scotia production increase to be phased in over a number of years. According to Statistics Canada, in 2021 Atlantic Canadian salmon aquaculture production in Nova Scotia was 8,592 tonnes, while Newfoundland harvested 15,904 tonnes and New Brunswick harvested 27,423 tonnes.

“In our view, there are only a handful of Nova Scotia locations with marine conditions suitable for finfish farming such as Liverpool Bay, so it is reasonable to expand sites where appropriate while adhering to the strict Aquaculture Regulations and Environmental Monitoring Program Framework.”

The statement added: “Nova Scotia has a fitting opportunity to realize increased investment, jobs and local community spending in the highly innovative ocean aquaculture sector that aligns perfectly with the provinces positioning as home to Canada’s Ocean Supercluster and marine technology hub.”

The company has been operating Atlantic salmon farm sites for 25 years along Nova Scotia’s Southern and Western shores. In recent years, applications for the renewal of licences for its operations at Coffin Island and two other sites have been approved by the Board.

KCS said: “These new Liverpool sites will allow Kelly Cove to improve its operational efficiencies in production and harvesting and will result in up to 20 new direct jobs. The company also plans to install high-tech hybrid electric battery feed barge systems which slash carbon emissions by reducing diesel generator run time and fuel consumption by up to 60 per cent.

“The larger operation will require more services and materials to be purchased in the community creating the potential for an aquaculture service hub to be established in the area. With this expansion, other freshwater hatcheries, feed production and trucking will expand accordingly.”

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