Canada approves new Cooke Aquaculture hatchery

The $56.8 million construction project will be a world-class recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) hatchery near Centreville on Digby Neck and will take three years to build.

Canada approves new Cooke Aquaculture hatchery
March 15, 2021

Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., the Atlantic Canadian salmon farming division of Cooke Aquaculture, received approval from the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NSDFA) for the development of a new land-based salmon hatchery near Centreville on Digby Neck. The approval follows an extensive administrative review process which included environmental, scientific and technical approvals by multiple Provincial and Federal regulatory authorities and a 30-day public comment period.

“We have been sustainably operating Atlantic salmon farms for over twenty-three years in Nova Scotia for food production, and our aim is to grow responsibly by taking a coordinated, thoughtful, science-based approach and going through all the appropriate licensing and permitting steps,” said Joel Richardson, Cooke Aquaculture’s vice president of Public Relations. “We were pleased to see so many of the businesses, organizations and local governments who we have worked with over the years express support of our growth in Nova Scotia.”

Supportive submissions were received by the NSDFA from the Town of Digby, Municipality of Digby, Digby Harbour Port Association, The Digby and Area Board of Trade, Bay Ferries Limited, Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, Town of Shelburne, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters NS Division, Animal Nutrition Association of Canada, Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia, and A.F. Theriault & Son Ltd.

Cooke Aquaculture is currently half-way through its capital investment plan for Nova Scotia and this facility is part of that plan. The $56.8 million construction project would be a world-class recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) investment with significant economic and social benefits for the province and would enhance Kelly Cove’s marine salmon farming operations.

“We anticipate that it may take another year to secure all the required permitting and complete the engineering design,” said Richardson. “We are aiming to start construction in 2022 pending pandemic market conditions and permitting approvals.”

It is expected that the hatchery will take three years to build and create over 450 construction jobs. Once operational, it will require approximately 16 new full-time, year-round Kelly Cove Salmon positions, and another 18 indirect and induced jobs.