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Divers are attempting to refloat an aquaculture feed barge that sank 500 m off Meteghan earlier this week, accoring to a Digby Courier report

Nell Halse, spokesperson for Cooke Aquaculture, told the Courier that the vessel Quoddy Runner sank Tuesday, Sept. 11 on its way over to the Long Island salmon cages.

She says the barge was carrying both feed and fuel,  but no one was injured when the 12.9 m feed barge went down in 8 m of water.

The Coast Guard and Transport Canada were contacted and divers were sent down immediately to plug any leaks.

The barge is expected to be re-floated by Friday.

A feeding barge sank near a Cooke Aquaculture Inc. fish farm in St. Margarets Bay on June 24, but the company did not notify the coast guard or environmental authorities until several days later.

There was speculation at the time that the spill was not announced immediately because it came on the heels of a provincial announcement of $25 million in support of Cooke.

The barge, about seven metres long and 3.3 metres wide, is one of two the company uses to carry thousands of kilograms of food for salmon being farmed on a site near Saddle Island, off the coast of Bayswater Beach.

Halse said at that time that the sinking did no environmental damage.

One source near the sinking told SCT, “If it was carrying a full load of fish food then it did do environmental damage. That food is completely foreign to the wild species of fish living in our oceans anywhere let alone in St. Margaret’s Bay.”

Cooke has also been the subject of federal investigations and senior executives face several charges relating to illegal dumping of toxic pesticides near lobster habitat, resulting in the death of tens of thousands of market-ready lobsters.

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