Nova Scotia PM speaks out against Cooke fish farm plan

Tim Houston, Prime Minister, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Prime Minister Tim Houston (pictured) has come out firmly against Cooke Seafoods’ plan to expand its Liverpool Bay salmon facility.

In February he had already expressed his reservations about the project. Houston has now come off the fence, to say he will directly oppose it because it would mean a large increase in the number of farmed salmon.

The decision, however, will be taken by independent regulator, the Agricultural Review Board (ARB), probably within the next six weeks.

The company behind the project is the Cooke subsidiary Kelly Cove Salmon which wants to open two new farms, adding more than 1,200,000 salmon in the bay and increasing the stock by at least a third.

The plan has  for some time provoked strong opposition from residents living in the Liverpool Bay area.

Houston said many people were worried about the scheme and he respected those concerns.

“While I think there’s incredible opportunities for aquaculture in this province. It’s my personal opinion that Liverpool Bay is not an appropriate place for that,” he told the broadcaster CBC News.

“The independent board will make their decision. But, for me I just think when you look at it that some are appropriate, some aren’t, and I just think that would lean more on the not appropriate.”

Cooke spokesperson Claire Ryan told CBC the company has been working with provincial and federal regulators for several years to prepare its application.

“We appreciate that the premier respects the independent Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board process that was established by the provincial government, and we look forward to bringing this application forward to the ARB next month.”



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