A Nova Scotia couple is appealing a decision by the provincial fisheries minister to grant licences to three salmon farms in rich lobster grounds.

Marian and Herschel Specter say the minister violated aquaculture regulations and federal Fisheries directives in approving the licences in Shelburne Harbour.

The couple says Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau treated the three sites as amendments to existing licences rather than new ones.

They say he also failed to hold sufficient public consultations on the matter before going ahead with the licence approvals.

They filed their notice of appeal, containing six grievances, earlier this week in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

Environmentalists and lobster fishermen say the salmon farms threaten one of the richest lobster fisheries in the world.