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HALIFAX, NS – Nov. 7, 2019 - Cermaq Canada has been granted Options to Lease for the Mahone Bay and St. Margaret’s Bay areas of Southwest Nova Scotia. These Options are in addition to the four Options to Lease granted to Cermaq in April of this year in the Chedabucto Bay and St. Mary’s Bay regions.
“We are excited to share our next steps in our feasibility investigations in Nova Scotia. We have been awarded two new Options to Lease; one in the Mahone Bay area and one in the St. Margaret’s Bay region. These Options will allow us to investigate the potential for salmon farming in the two bays, and we will start collecting data and looking at potential feasibility,” says David Kiemele, Managing Director for Cermaq Canada. “We believe the South Shore region of Nova Scotia could present excellent opportunities for salmon farming due to the sheltered nature of the bays, the depth and water temperatures. As before we are sharing this information very early in the process and need to get on the water and into the communities to better understand the area.”
As announced earlier this year, for an expansion into Nova Scotia to be feasible, Cermaq needs to identify enough sites to support 20,000 metric tonnes of production. There would also have to be general support for the venture from commercial fisheries, residents, the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia and local and provincial governments.
“This commitment remains true for our work in St. Margaret’s and Mahone Bay. We do need to achieve enough sites to support about 20,000 metric tonnes of production – which translates into about 15 to 20 farms which would be spread between the areas we are investigating. We will begin feasibility and engagement work in St. Margaret’s Bay and Mahone Bay shortly,” says Vicki Savoie, Sustainable Development Director, East Coast for Cermaq Canada. “We don’t expect to be able to achieve this production level in any one particular region which is why we are increasing our scope. We are now ready to get on the ground in the region and start talking with people.”
Within the Mahone Bay and St. Margaret’s Bay region, initial meetings will be held with commercial fishing associations, the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, municipal government and interested groups and associations. Following this focused approach, broad community engagement will be launched. Feasibility work will also begin as we start to collect information regarding potential farming sites. Through this work, it would be noted and respected that the waters and shoreline of both Mahone Bay and St. Margaret’s Bay are home to a UNESCO World Heritage site, many significant historical buildings and a thriving tourism industry.
“As a company, we have experience operating successfully in similar environments and aims to further understand how we could potentially add value to the economic and social fabric of the region. We know that each community and region is unique in regards to values and concerns and opportunities when it comes to aquaculture development. Through ongoing work to engage with residents, property owners, associations, governments and the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, we are building a better understanding of how we could potentially add value, and also a better understanding of what is important to Nova Scotians,” added Savoie.
Site feasibility and engagement within the original Options to Leases awarded earlier this year in the Chedabucto Bay region (Guysborough Country and Richmond Valley) on the eastern shoreline, and in the St. Mary’s region south of Digby, is continuing.
Updates about the work, events and scheduled meetings will continue to be available through our Hello Nova Scotia newsletter and the www.HelloNovaScotia.ca website.
For more information, please contact Amy Jonsson, Cermaq Communication and Engagement Manager, at 250-202-7680, or by email at email@example.com.
The Mahone Bay Option to Lease and the St. Margaret’s Bay Option to Lease were awarded on October 15, 2019.
Maps of the Option to Lease areas, as well as the full Option to Lease application are available on www.HelloNovaScotia.ca
Cermaq will be establishing an information office in the region, location to be determined, and will be hiring local candidates to staff the office.
Engagement with local governments, the commercial fishing industry, business associations, residents and the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia will be critical in helping to shape the potential path forward in the region.
Although all regions have unique concerns and interests, Cermaq is aware of the historical significance and tourism industry with the Mahone Bay and St. Margaret’s Bay region and that any development will need to be sensitive and complimentary to these existing values.
Cermaq has been named as one of the most transparent seafood companies and has been certified by both Best Aquaculture Practices and Aquaculture Stewardship Council.
Cermaq is proud to be one of the founding members of the United Nations Action Platform on Sustainable Ocean Business and is working to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by proving a healthy source of low-carbon protein, supporting wild salmon populations through restoration, enhancement and knowledge sharing and working to reduce ocean plastics and improve ocean health through clean ups, restorations and innovation.