Digby, N.S. – Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., the Atlantic Canadian salmon farming division of family-owned Cooke Aquaculture Inc. 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.
“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,” says Joel Richardson, Cooke Aquaculture’s Vice 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 Aquaculture is currently half-way through its capital investment plan for Nova Scotia; this facility is part of that plan. This $56.8 million dollar construction project would be a world-class recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) investment with significant economic and social benefits for the province and would enhance Kelly Cove’s marine salmon farming operations.
“We anticipate that it may take another year to secure all the required permitting and complete the engineering design,” said Richardson. “We are aiming to start construction in 2022 pending pandemic market conditions and permitting approvals.”
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2022 the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022). A key objective of celebrating IYAFA 2022 is to focus world attention on the role that small-scale fishers, fish farmers and fish workers play in food security and nutrition, poverty eradication and sustainable natural resource use – thereby increasing global understanding and action to support them.
It is expected that the hatchery will take three years to build and create over 450 construction jobs, and once operational it will require approximately 16 new full-time, year-round Kelly Cove Salmon positions, and another 18 indirect and induced jobs.
Since 2012, Cooke has invested significantly in our operations in Nova Scotia, including capital infrastructure on our marine farms, freshwater hatcheries, major expansions at both our feed manufacturing facility in Truro, our seafood distribution facility in Dartmouth, in research and development projects and community and student initiatives.
Cooke is one of the Top 25 Seafood Suppliers in North America for Sustainability & Conservation. Cooke Aquaculture is one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and one of Atlantic Canada’s Top Employers.