Aquaculture North America

Nova Scotia premier opposes Cooke’s Liverpool Bay project

February 13, 2024
By Aquaculture North America staff

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston says he is opposed to the Cooke Aquaculture salmon farm expansion in Liverpool Bay project.

Cooke subsidiary, Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., applied to expand its existing fish farm at Coffin Island and open two new ones at Brooklyn and Mersey Point in Queens County. According to a CBC News report, each site would contain 660,000 fish, a 370 per cent increase in the number of farmed salmon in Liverpool Bay if approved.

“There’s certainly a lot of people in Liverpool that are concerned about this. I respect their concerns and have heard their concerns,” Houston told reporters on Feb. 8 in Halifax. “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.”

This project has been met with opposition. It’s the first new salmon farm proposed in Nova Scotia in many years and the first one to come before the quasi-judicial Aquaculture Review Board (ARB) created in 2015 to enhance public confidence in decisions around aquaculture.

“As the founder of Protect Liverpool Bay, I am pleased to hear the personal position of the premier,” said Brian Muldoon. “We strongly believe that the classification of all the bays in Nova Scotia needs to take place before any application gets decided on. We did put in a request for a moratorium on all applications that were in place in the fall of 2023.”

The premier said the final decision will come from an independent regulator hearing the merits next month.

In response to the premier, Cooke spokesperson, Claire Ryan, told the CBC the company has been working with provincial and federal regulators 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,” Ryan said.

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