Fish farm lobster death case adjourned
The case of a New Brunswick aquaculture company facing a series of charges related to the deaths of hundreds of lobsters in the Bay of Fundy nearly two years ago has been adjourned without plea.
Lawyers for Kelly Cove Salmon and three of the company's executives asked provincial court Judge William McCarroll for more time for disclosure in St. Stephen court Tuesday.
They said they want to review scientific evidence documents.
The case has been set over until March 15 at 9:30 a.m.
Kelly Cove Salmon, a farming division of Cooke Aquaculture, faces 11 counts of depositing a substance that's harmful to fish into fish-bearing water. Environment Canada laid the charges under section 36(3) of the Canadian National Fisheries Act last month.
Three company executives — Glenn Cooke, the chief executive officer of Cooke Aquaculture, who owns the company with his father and brother; Mike Szemerda, the company’s vice-president; and Randall Griffin, the regional production manager for Kelly — are also each facing 11 charges.
The defendants did not appear in court.
Crown prosecutor Paul Adams agreed to the adjournment. He also withdrew a summons order to have the defendants appear for fingerprinting and identification.
The charges stem from two investigations conducted by Environment Canada 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.
Those investigations found the lobsters had been exposed to cypermethrin, an agricultural pesticide that's illegal for marine use in Canada, 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 Aquaculture, which is based in Blacks Harbour, has aquaculture sites in Grand Manan and Deer Island.
If convicted, the maximum penalty is up to $1 million per charge and up to three years in prison.