pe-mi-lobster-live-300

Three executives of a New Brunswick aquaculture company have been charged in the deaths of hundreds of lobsters. (CBC)

Environment Canada has charged a New Brunswick aquaculture company and three of its executives in connection with the death of hundreds of lobsters in the Bay of Fundy nearly two years ago.  

Kelly Cove Salmon is facing 11 counts of depositing a substance that's harmful to fish into fish-bearing water, under section 36(3) of the Canadian National Fisheries Act.   

Environment Canada laid the charges on Tuesday.  

The charges stem from two investigations in December 2009 and February 2010. Hundreds of dead and dying lobsters were hauled up in traps in three different sites: at Seal Cove on Grand Manan, near Pocologan, and off Deer Island.  

Kelly Cove Salmon is a division of the larger company Cooke Aquaculture, which is based in Blacks Harbour.  

Cooke's C.E.O. Glenn Cooke, vice-president Mike Szemerda, and Randall Griffin, the regional production manager for Kelly, are also each facing 11 charges.   

Environment Canada's investigation found the lobsters had been exposed to cypermethrin, an argricultural pesticide that's illegal to use in Canadian marine environments and toxic to lobsters.  

Cypermethrin is a fast-acting insecticide and has been used to kill sea lice in European fish farms.  At the time, officials said there are few farms near the Fundy coast that could have been the source.  

Cooke has aquaculture sites in Grand Manan and Deer Island.  

Officers from Environment Canada raided the company's offices in St. George, Blacks Harbour and Saint John last November.  

The matter is scheduled to go to provincial court in St. Stephen on Dec. 13th.