Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Leaders Question Reasoning Behind the Development of an Aquaculture Farm in St. Mary’s Bay

Chief Leroy Denny

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs (ANSMC) are adamantly speaking out that they will not support a proposed aquaculture facilities in St. Mary’s Bay, Digby County, NS, according to a submission to government agencies on the Cooke Aquaculture application for industrial-sized fish farms in the bay.  The ANSMC says it wants to ask the Province and Department of Fisheries and Ocean (DFO) what the reasoning is behind developing such a facility when Atlantic salmon populations have been declining in the last two decades?

The proposed aquaculture facilities in St. Mary’s Bay will encompass a total area of about 84.24 hectares and will be primarily used to culture Atlantic salmon, says ANSMC while Atlantic salmon populations of the Maritimes Region have experienced two or more decades of decline. Of particular concern are the poor returns of grilse that spend time in the ocean before returning to their native spawning rivers. There is a lack of scientific certainty as to the reasons for this continued decline of salmon population and faced with the possibility of the extinction of Atlantic salmon in many parts in Atlantic Canada, the precautionary principle should take precedence in Atlantic salmon management in NS.  (download submission here)

Some elements of the submission:

    • The privatization of marine areas and ocean resources in NS.
    • Serious and detrimental environmental impacts related to farm escapees, disease, the use of pharmaceutical and antibiotics, salmon farm discharges, feed resources and cumulative impacts of intensive aquaculture
    • 19 known “Species at Risk” are found, plus Flora and Fauna are also identified within or near the proposed project sites. Some include: Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon, Beluga Whale, Atlantic Cod, Piping Plover, Blue Whale, and etc,.

Visit all submissions for the application.