August 10, 2022
Nova Scotia, Canada seeks public feedback on aquaculture regulations
The government of Nova Scotia, Canada, is offering the public an opportunity to have their say about aquaculture regulations in the province.
Starting on August 9 and over the next four weeks, residents in Nova Scotia are invited to share their feedback through an online survey.
According to a provincial release, aquaculture regulations were last updated in 2015 following an 18-month independent review led by Dalhousie university law professors Meinhard Doelle and Bill Lahey.
However, some critics said the Liberal government at the time failed to implement a key recommendation: introduce red, yellow and green zones where sites would be permitted.
The Doelle-Lahey report stated parts of the Nova Scotia coast were unsuitable for fish farming. They suggested a colour-coded classification system where coastal areas are rated as green, yellow or red based on their relative suitability for fin fish aquaculture. The classification of a coastal area would determine how applications for a fin fish licence would be evaluated and the likelihood of an application for such a licence being approved.
Green areas would be considered suitable for fin fish aquaculture. Yellow areas would have the potential to be suitable, but would require stricter rules and conditions for approval. Red would be considered unsuitable.
Keith Colwell, then fisheries minister, defended the regulations at the time, saying he had the right to isolate any area he felt was inappropriate for aquaculture.
The province said new regulations are being reviewed with engagement from First Nations, environmental groups and other community stakeholders.
According to the province, the aquaculture industry employs 900 people and contributes $90 million per year to Nova Scotia's economy. There are 235 marine and land-based aquaculture sites in the province.
The survey closes on September 6.