Nova Scotia renews lease for Cooke’s Kelly Cove Salmon aquaculture operations in Liverpool Bay

One week after affirming its intention to expand its operations in Nova Scotia, Canada, Cooke Aquaculture subsidiary Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. has announced it has received a renewal of its license to conduct aquaculture operations in Liverpool Bay.

Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada-based Cooke “reaffirmed its support” for investing in farming in the region, via Kelly Cove, its Atlantic salmon farming division in Canada.

On 30 April, the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NSDFA) approved the renewal of Kelly Cove’s marine aquaculture license and lease in Liverpool Bay, in the waters near Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Cooke applied for the 10-year license and 20-year lease in October 2019 after operating the farm for nearly 10 years. Cooke has been operating in the province of Nova Scotia for 22 years and now operates a dozen marine aquaculture sites along Nova Scotia’s southern and western shores, including at Hartz Point in Shelburne and Brier Island in St. Mary’s Bay, which also had their licenses renewed by the NSDFA earlier this year.

“We are pleased that the Coffin Island site lease in Liverpool Bay has been renewed by government regulators which recognizes our strong environmental performance and best management practices,” Cooke Aquaculture Vice President of Public Relations Joel Richardson said in a press release.

Richardson said the NSDFA report included a performance review based on the technical and biological assessment of the farm. The report contains a refutation of claims that the salmon net-pens operated by Cooke in the province are degrading lobster stocks and damaging local tourism, Richardson said. He noted hotel room sales and tourist visits rose from 2010 to 2017 and that lobster catches and stocks have reached all-time highs in recent years.

“These approvals confirm that the claims individuals are spreading are fiction,” Richardson said.

Richardson said Cooke represents an important local business in Nova Scotia, with a sizeable economic impact. In addition to its farm sites, Cooke operates a feed mill in Truro and a seafood distribution center in Dartmouth. The company has 205 employees in Nova Scotia and its operations support an extra 240 indirect jobs, according to Richardson.

“More than twelve different provincial and federal regulatory agencies have oversight on our operations, and we adhere to the Nova Scotia Environmental Monitoring Program Framework,” he said. “Maintaining a clean environment is essential to raising salmon, and the coastal area around the Liverpool Bay site is as pristine today as it was when the farm was first established in 2000.”

Photo courtesy of Cooke Aquaculture


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