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UPDATE: CERMAQ has decided not to proceed with their potential open net fish farm expansion in Nova Scotia. Please read their latest news release on the right.

With news of Cermaq looking at areas in Nova Scotia to base a potential aquaculture operation, we have heard from a number of residents and organizations. While the Municipality doesn't have jurisduction, we are a stakeholder in terms of development if an operation is approved by the Provincial Government. Recently, Council expressed their position to this proposed project through a letter to The Honourable Keith Colwell, Minister of Fisheries & Aquaculture and copied to Premier Stephen McNeil and Hugh MacKay, MLA for Chester-St. Margarets.

Based on a number of concerns, including conflicts this project has with local commercial activities, residential use in the area, and environmental issues, Council for the Municipality has stated that, "At this point in the process for a marine aquaculture license and lease for open pen salmon farming by CERMAQ; and, based on the information provided to Council to date, and the consistent and substantial public concern expressed, Council believes the potential risks outweigh the potential benefits to our community's long-term interests. Therefore, Council wishes to express our opposition to the expansion of open pen salmon farming in the coastal waters surrounding the community."

To help residents understand the issue, we have created this page to post links, presentations, and any other information that might be relevant.

Who is Cermaq?

Cermaq is an international company with salmon farming operations in Norway, Chile and Canada (BC). They are Canada's second largest salmon farming company with 28 licences on Vancouver Island. They received two Options to Lease from the Nova Scotia Government in October 2019 for the Mahone Bay and St. Margaret's Bay areas.

What is an Option to Lease?

An Option to Lease, issued by Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture, is not an aquaculture licence. It gives a company the option to explore the potential of establishing aquaculture sites within the areas of the Options to Lease. For these particular Options, Cermaq will collect data over a six-month period to determine if the select areas are suitable for salmon farming.

When is this happening?

Cermaq's data collection is in progress. 

Where is Cermaq looking?

Lunenburg County map
St. Margaret's Bay map


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