New Brunswick’s First Land-Based Atlantic Salmon Post-Smolt Aquaculture Facility Achieves Environmental Approval

Bayside, N.B. – Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. (KCS), of the Cooke family of companies, has received a Certification of Determination to Proceed from the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government for the construction of its proposed $72 million land-based Atlantic salmon post-smolt aquaculture facility in Bayside, N.B. This approval is an important step achieved upon successful completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Located in the Champlain Industrial Park alongside the Passamaquoddy Bay, the new facility will be a world-class recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). KCS began planning the high-tech project in 2017 and received EIA approval earlier this year for ground source wells to supply the facility with water. Associated with this facility are two water pipeline corridors and a marine loading facility.

“Hybrid systems, involving a mix of land and marine-based fish farming will continue to be part of our future. We have been operating land-based salmon hatcheries and marine farms sustainably for 38 years,” says Joel Richardson, Vice President of Public Relations for Cooke. “Innovative scientific technologies bring a new opportunity for greater production in ocean waters by shortening time Atlantic salmon spend in marine cages.”

In March of last year, Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson, released the New Brunswick Finfish Aquaculture Growth Strategy 2022-2030. Its guiding responsible development in the province’s finfish aquaculture sector with a focus on land-based production through the implementation of new technological advancements.

It is expected the multi-phased project will take three years to complete and create more than 340 direct construction jobs and 222 indirect and induced jobs.

The post-smolt facility is just one of the investments Cooke is making in Charlotte County. Earlier this year, Cooke’s new, $21 million freshwater hatchery in Pennfield became operational, and the company recently completed a $50 million expansion at its salmon processing plant in St. George.

The project team for the new aquaculture facility includes Sorensen Engineering Ltd. of Saint Andrew’s, NB and Sweeney International Marine Corp. (SIMCorp) of St. Stephen, NB.