Cooke seeks to expand its operations in Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board will decide on Cooke's applications for two new licenses in Liverpool Bay next February.
Kelly Cove Salmon farm in Digby, Nova Scotia. Cooke's subsidiary seeks to expand its operations in the area. Photo: Cooke Aquaculture Inc.
Kelly Cove Salmon farm in Digby, Nova Scotia. Cooke's subsidiary seeks to expand its operations in the area. Photo: Cooke Aquaculture Inc.

Two new marine finfish aquaculture licenses and leases for Atlantic salmon farming in Liverpool Bay at Brooklyn and Mersey Point, and a boundary correction to the existing Coffin Island site, all in Nova Scotia, Canada. That's the application Cooke has submitted to the Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board (ARB) through its subsidiary Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. The Canadian aquaculture giant will defend its application before the ARB between February 5 and 9, 2024.

"A modest Nova Scotia production increase"

"There are only a handful of Nova Scotia locations with marine conditions suitable for finfish farming such as Liverpool Bay, so it is reasonable to expand sites where appropriate while adhering to the strict Aquaculture Regulations and Environmental Monitoring Program Framework," said the company in its statement on the application. "If successful, the KCS application would enable a modest Nova Scotia production increase to be phased in over a number of years," it added.

In its statement of reasons for pursuing its aspirations with the Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board, rather than for its own benefit, Cooke highlighted the benefits that the expansion of its Kelly Cove Salmon operations would bring to the area.

"Nova Scotia has a fitting opportunity to realize increased investment, jobs and local community spending in the highly innovative ocean aquaculture sector that aligns perfectly with the provinces positioning as home to Canada's Ocean Supercluster and marine technology hub," it continued.

"Creating the potential for an aquaculture service hub"

The company recalls that salmon farming generates USD 2 billion (EUR 1871 million) in total economic output annually in Atlantic Canada, of which USD 213.5 million (EUR 200 million) is generated in Nova Scotia. The salmon industry has created 886 jobs in the province. According to Cooke, if the ARB approves its applications, the new Liverpool facilities will not only allow KCS to improve its operational efficiency in production and harvesting, but it will also generate up to 20 new direct jobs.

"The larger operation will require more services and materials to be purchased in the community creating the potential for an aquaculture service hub to be established in the area," said Cooke. "With this expansion, other freshwater hatcheries, feed production and trucking will expand accordingly."

In addition to highlighting the economic and social benefits of the project, Kelly Cove also includes environmental and sustainability factors among its arguments. The Cooke subsidiary plans to install high-tech hybrid electric power barge systems that, by reducing diesel generator run time and fuel consumption by up to 60%, will drastically reduce carbon emissions.

"The company meets all the regulatory criteria to the ARB"

Cooke recalled that the renewal procedure for its existing marine aquaculture licenses and leases includes technical, environmental, and biological performance assessments. In addition, the company stressed that it has been operating Atlantic salmon farms along the southern and western coasts of Nova Scotia responsibly for 25 years.

"In April 2020, DFA approved the renewal of the Coffin Island marine aquaculture license and lease in Liverpool Bay after KCS operated it for nearly ten years. The salmon farm was first established in 2000 by a previous company. Earlier in 2020, DFA approved the renewal of two other existing KCS farm sites located at Hartz Point in Shelburne, and Brier Island in St. Mary's Bay, Digby County," it stated.

"At every step of the way, Kelly Cove has complied with our current lease and new license and lease application process, and in February our representatives will present how the company meets all the regulatory criteria to the ARB," the Canadian salmon company concluded. As mentioned, the Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board's public hearing on Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd.'s applications in Liverpool Bay will be held between February 5 and 24, 2024.

About Cooke Aquaculture Inc.

Committed to continuous improvement in quality and environmental performance, Cooke Aquaculture Inc. is a vertically integrated, family-owned company based in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick, Canada. It has salmon farming operations in Atlantic Canada, the United States, Chile, and Scotland, as well as sea bass and sea bream farming operations in Spain.

The Cooke family of companies includes global aquaculture divisions, including its wholly owned subsidiary Cooke Aquaculture Inc. and Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., as well as seafood and wild fishery divisions under Cooke Seafood USA, Inc., Icicle Seafoods, Inc., Wanchese Fish Company, Inc. Omega Protein Corporation, Cooke Uruguay S.A., and Seajoy Seafood Corporation, one of the largest premium shrimp farms in Latin America.

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