Activist Organization Calling for Change in NS Aquaculture Regulations

CTV News

Activist organization calling for change in N.S. aquaculture regulations

Published Thursday, June 26, 2014 8:45AM ADT

HALIFAX - The Ecology Action Centre in Nova Scotia says it's time for the provincial government to step up and change how aquaculture is regulated in the province.

The government has released an independent report that questions whether farming Atlantic salmon in land-based, closed-containment facilities is commercially viable. But the centre's Susanna Fuller says the issue lies more with flaws in how aquaculture is regulated in the province and the external costs associated with farming fish on land.

Fuller, whose organization was involved in the report, argues fish farms that use open-net pens avoid paying costs like electricity by using the marine ecosystem for free.

The report by Gardner Pinfold Consulting concludes that land-based salmon farming operations -- while technically feasible -- would have to be large-scale to overcome the inherent engineering, building, labour and energy costs.

Keith Colwell, minister of fisheries and aquaculture, says the report will assist the province in developing a new, comprehensive aquaculture framework.