With the introduction of its Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act today, the Government of Nova Scotia is revising aquaculture regulations to improve outcomes for the industry.

The province has stated that properly regulating the aquaculture industry is a priority in order to achieve both economic and sustainability objectives.

“Aquaculture is estimated to have been worth over $100 million to the Nova Scotia economy in 2017,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell. “As we continue to improve our regulations, we are creating the conditions and clarity that will enable the industry to continue to grow responsibly and sustainably.”

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The proposed changes aim to provide clarity for the industry on various operational issues and streamline some processes now in place.

Changes include:

  • allowing the amalgamation of two or more adjacent licensed aquaculture sites by the same operator under one licence;
  • requiring ministerial approval to apply to the Aquaculture Review Board to amend an existing licence or lease;
  • creating a class of institutional aquaculture licences and leases for non-commercial operations; and
  • clarifying the process around the 30-day appeal period for Aquaculture Review Board decisions.

“Industry believes the move to allow consolidation of adjacent leases will provide efficiencies for farm management practices and reduce red tape for small business,” said Tom Smith, executive director, Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia.

Aquaculture is responsible for supporting about 600 direct jobs, many located in the rural areas of Nova Scotia.

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