Aquaculture giant to discuss ‘expansion opportunities’ at council

By Scott Costen

A marketing executive for Cooke Aquaculture is scheduled to make a presentation to Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) council tomorrow.

According to the Oct. 23 meeting’s agenda package, vice-president of global marketing Andrew Lively will discuss “expansion opportunities” in RQM. The focus of his presentation is expected to be salmon farming.

Queens is home to three aquaculture sites.

The first is a land-based operation at Port Mersey Commercial Park, which is used for cannabis production at Aqualitas Inc.

The second site is a fish farm near Coffin Island, not far from Beach Meadows Beach. This location is operated by Kelly Cove Salmon, which appears to be a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture.

And finally, there is a fish farm in Port Mouton, which has long been opposed by local residents under the banner of Friends of Port Mouton Bay.

A recently published 11-year study suggests the Port Mouton fish farm has significantly weakened the local lobster industry. Ownership of the site is rather murky, as the Observer wrote in July. Many local fishermen are convinced Cooke Aquaculture is behind the operation, however company officials told the Observer Oct. 23 that Cooke was only briefly involved and sold its interest in the site in 2011.

The licensed owner of the Port Mouton fish farm is Ocean Trout Farms Inc. Nova Scotia’s registry of joint stock companies lists an Ontario man, who died in May, as that company’s president and director.

Tomorrow’s council meeting will start at 9 a.m. at 249 White Point Rd.

(Note: This story was updated Oct. 23 to include information from Cooke Aquaculture officials.)