By Observer Staff
Region of Queens Municipality council is expected to vote Feb. 12 on sending a wide-ranging letter to Cooke Aquaculture about the research it has been conducting in Liverpool Bay and the potential impact of increased fish farming in the area.
Through its subsidiary Kelly Cove Salmon, the company obtained a six-month option to lease in the bay Sept. 7, 2018. This has allowed it to study the possibility of adding to its existing operations, which comprise 14 cages containing 400,000 farmed fish on a four-hectare site off Coffin Island.
In the letter, which council will be asked to approve, Mayor David Dagley calls on Cooke to “research and address” a series of questions and comments from the municipality. A total of 24 points are covered, dealing with everything from scientific and biological concerns to potential impact on local fishermen, a small business in East Berlin and boaters from the Brooklyn Marina.
If approved by council, the letter would arrive rather late in terms of having much influence on Cooke. The company’s option period expires March 7, 2019. If it wishes to apply for a new marine site in Liverpool Bay, it has to do so by then. Such an application would be followed by a review period and final decision by Nova Scotia’s Aquaculture Review Board. The province’s aquaculture website indicates these phases would last about seven months and two months, respectively.
The draft letter, along with a staff report from CAO Chris McNeill, are contained in the agenda package for the Feb. 12 council meeting.
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