Cermaq is one of the companies looking to expand business into Nova Scotia. It has been given options for lease in the provinces South Shore region. Image: Cermaq

Nova Scotia: Gold standard for aquaculture

The Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia released a statement today that was intended to assure the public that the growth of aquaculture would be beneficial to the province.

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“Nova Scotia is the gold standard for aquaculture with regulations that have been updated recently to become the most stringent in the world,” said Tom Smith, executive director, Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia.

“We encourage Nova Scotians and local municipalities to let science guide the management and development of the industry. The Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and other federal and provincial agencies perform rigorous science based technical reviews and analysis on all aquaculture projects.”

Supply chain

Smith added the aquaculture companies are monitored to ensure they are operating according to the highest standards.

“Aquaculture companies operating in Nova Scotia are regularly audited by international certification programs and performance standards for their entire supply chain farms, hatcheries, processing plants and feed. This assures healthy, locally produced foods that are produced through environmentally and socially responsible means which play a significant role in reducing our carbon footprint.”


Cermaq Canada has recently announced that it is looking to expand business into Nova Scotia. The company has been holding public information sessions in the communities in which it wants to expand. Many residents fear that fish farms will pollute local waters while eliminating local fisheries jobs. Residents feel that net pens will pollute the local waters killing lobsters, mussels, sea urchins and other life.

“Without the facts we can’t have an honest conversation,” said Smith.

“Recent information circulating about the aquaculture industry is inaccurate and fails to recognize it for the safe, sustainable, growth oriented industry that it is.”


Smith added that for 40 years residents of Nova Scotia have supported fish farming and fisheries proving that both can “coexist”.

“Fish farms have been operating sustainably with provincial and federal environmental and regulatory approvals and oversight in many coastal communities from Shelburne to Bras d’Or Lake and from Digby to Halifax County. During this time we’ve seen export sales in the lobster industry, tourism, and property values all go up in these areas.”

The Nova Scotia aquaculture industry employs 600 people directly. It is worth over $100 million annually and Smith is looking to inform the public and grow the provinces aquaculture sector.

“There are real opportunities right now for our province in aquaculture and we have the history and the experience to continue to do it right.”