Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. is going through the process of amending the boundaries at four of its salmon farm sites in Nova Scotia.
The boundary amendments are necessary to comply with the new Aquaculture License and Lease Regulations introduced by the province in 2015 that requires all mooring and anchor lines to be inside the lease boundary, explained Joel Richardson, vice-president of public relations for parent company Cooke Aquaculture.
“Any shellfish or finfish aquaculture operations previous to 2015, it did not require anchor and mooring lines inside the lease boundaries. The cages had to be inside, but the mooring and anchor lines did not. They changed that in 2015 so all the lines had to be inside, so we had to submit boundary amendments to change the outer lease boundaries of those sites to include the mooring and anchor lines” to the Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board for the four sites, said Richardson.
“There is really no change to the site structurally or physically. It’s more or less a paper exercise to make the sure the public is aware that the boundary under the new lease regulations is changing,” said Richardson. “There are navigational buoys and such so to also make sure people are aware of the change.”
As part of the process, Kelly Cove Salmon held public open houses in July on the proposed boundary amendments for salmon farming sites in Brier Island, Digby County, Saddle Island, Lunenburg County and Victoria Beach, Annapolis County.
Richardson said a total of about 100 people attended the three meetings.
“Overall, I would say the meetings went well,” he said. “We talked with some lobster fishermen who came in and had good conversation. Lobster landings in Nova Scotia have been on the rise for a number of years and around our farm sites we haven’t seen an impact to local lobster fisheries at all. In fact, the lobster landings around the sites have increased over the years.”
The public open house for the fourth salmon farm site at Rattling Beach, Annapolis County was held earlier in the year and has advanced through the Aquaculture Review Board adjudicative process to the public hearing stage, scheduled for Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 at the Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa.
Richardson said they had very positive feedback from the public and local community at the public open house for the Rattling Beach site.
Applications for intervenor status were made by the St. Mary’s Bay Protectors, the Ecology Action Centre and the Healthy Bays Network to the Aquaculture Review Board for the public hearing, but were denied.