Fish farm application rejected

The Nova Scotia government has not approved an application by Snow Island Salmon for a new salmon aquaculture site in Shoal Bay, near Sheet Harbour, Halifax Regional Municipality, following a 22-month-long review process.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has raised concerns about the proposed site's potential impact on wild salmon populations. It indicated that the site represents a "low risk to fish habitat" but a "moderate risk to wild Atlantic salmon." It is the first time that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has described a proposed aquaculture site as a "moderate risk" to wild salmon.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau said that in the aquaculture strategy the government committed to making careful decisions based on science and he was not satisfied that the science supported approving the site.

"The government shares the desire of Nova Scotia's coastal communities, and the aquaculture industry, to ensure that aquaculture development is done in a sustainable way," Mr Belliveau said. "Each site application is judged on its own merits. This decision is not indicative of a change in support for aquaculture from the government, which introduced an Aquaculture Strategy last spring.”

However, Snow Island does not agree with the decision and has a launched a campaign to call on the Provincial Government to work with the company to address any concerns they may have with the applications.

Snow Island said that by rejecting the application “the Nova Scotia Government has turned its back on a major economic investment on the Eastern Shore. The opportunity to improve rural communities with quality year-round employment and infrastructure renewal is now lost, and the downward trend for rural Nova Scotia’s future continues.

“We encourage all supporters of Snow Island, of aquaculture, and of small- and medium-sized businesses in Nova Scotia to sign our Letter of Support and send it to the Premier’s office,” said Snow Island.

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