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Cooke secures permit for new salmon hatchery in Nova Scotia


Digital rendering of Kelly Cove Salmon Hatchery (Photo: Cooke Aquaculture)

Digby, Nova Scotia-based Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. has received approval from the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NSDFA) for the development of a new land-based salmon hatchery near Centreville on Digby Neck.

The province posted its decision on Friday, March 12, 2021, following an extensive administrative review process which included environmental, scientific and technical approvals by multiple provincial and federal regulatory authorities and a 30-day public comment period, a statement from Cooke Aquaculture said. Kelly Cove Salmon is Cooke Aquaculture’s salmon farming division in Atlantic Canada.

“We have been sustainably operating Atlantic salmon farms for over twenty-three years in Nova Scotia for food production, and our aim is to grow responsibly by taking a coordinated, thoughtful, science-based approach and going through all the appropriate licensing and permitting steps,” said Joel Richardson, Cooke Aquaculture’s vide-president of public relations. “We were pleased to see so many of the businesses, organizations and local governments who we have worked with over the years express support of our growth in Nova Scotia.”

Supportive submissions were received by the NSDFA from the Town of Digby, Municipality of Digby, Digby Harbour Port Association, The Digby and Area Board of Trade, Bay Ferries Limited, Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, Town of Shelburne, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters NS Division, Animal Nutrition Association of Canada, Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia, and A.F. Theriault & Son Ltd, Cooke said.

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The company is currently half-way through its capital investment plan for Nova Scotia, which includes the planned hatchery. This $56.8-million construction project would involve investment in a “world-class” recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) “with significant economic and social benefits for the province and is expected to enhance Kelly Cove’s marine salmon farming operations.”

Richardson said it may take another to secure all the permit requirements and complete the engineering design of the facility. The company aims to begin construction in 2022, pending permit approvals and pandemic-related market conditions.

It is expected that the hatchery will take three years to build and create more than 450 construction jobs. Once operational, the Kelly Cove hatchery will employ around 16 new full-time, year-round employees, and create another 18 indirect and induced jobs.

Since 2012, Cooke has invested significantly in its Nova Scotia operations, including capital infrastructure on its marine farms, freshwater hatcheries, major expansions at both its feed manufacturing facility in Truro, its seafood distribution facility in Dartmouth, in research and development projects and community and student initiatives, Richardson said.


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