Especially in light a recent deadly infectious salmon anemia (ISA) breakout in a Cooke Aquaculture site in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, the mayor of Harbour Breton, Newfoundland is relieved that an important piece of infrastructure will soon be built in the community.
The Newfoundland and Labrador government announced Wednesday that the ball is rolling on a new biosecure wharf that will only be used to service the local aquaculture industry, dominated by Cooke Aquaculture farms..
“They’re putting in a separate wharf for everything that goes out to the sites,” Harbour Breton Mayor Eric Skinner said.
Aquaculture has been fuelling Harbour Breton’s economy for years, and the town wants its major employer protected in every way possible.
According to Skinner, the new wharf is an important piece of that.
“That will help ensure that there’s no contamination to any of it,” Skinner said.
Skinner said the wharf was actually promised about three years ago, but the province wanted to build it in the same area where the town has plans for a new marine industrial park. They finally agreed on a new location.
The tender call ends on March 30, and the mayor hopes construction will begin soon after.
In a statement, Fisheries Minister Darin King said the new wharf will reduce the risk of cross contamination if a disease outbreak were to occur.
"By building dedicated aquaculture in-flow wharves, we are increasing the quality of the product we produce and relieving congestion on public-use wharves,” King said.