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In a bold move Friday, the ad-hoc group Citizens for Sustainable Aquaculture Now has denied New Brunswick-based multi-national Cooke Aquaculture the social license required under the revised Nova Scotia Aquaculture Regulations, informed by the 2015 Doelle-Lahey Report.

The report stated that Nova Scotia should adopt a policy which requires acceptance or “permission” of local communities before large corporations can insert industrial fish farms in the bays and harbours abutting rural communities. The process is known as “gaining a social license.”

Citizens for Sustainable Aquaculture Now has determined that Cooke has failed in several ways to meet the minimum standards required for local acceptance of massive industrial fish farms adjoining small, rural communities.

Some of the issues noted on the rejected license application included:

– with total revenues of $1+ billion and income derived from Nova Scotia farms in the tens of millions yearly, zero tax is paid to Nova Scotia

– Limitless industrial fish farms placed in Nova Scotia waters

– 5-10,000,000 fish reared yearly – Zero fish to be processed in Nova Scotia

–   Cooke considers it unnecessary to obtain social license in nova scotia

–   Zero social licenses acquired worldwide

–   Prevalence of serious fish disease (ISA, sea lice, super chill, etc) in most jurisdictions Cooke operates in

–   Possible $50 million received as govt subsidies for diseased fish

–   Guilty pleas by three senior Cooke executives for federal crimes relating to poisoning marine habitat

–   450 jobs promised in Nova Scotia relating to $25,000,000 loan package from government – zero  jobs produced

–   No new new rural jobs resulting from license

Download copy of license application here:


Download copy of license application here: