Nova Scotia

Cooke Aquaculture feed barge sinks near Brier Island

A Cooke Aquaculture barge carrying fish feed sunk earlier this week off Brier Island.

Company says it's investigating what caused the vessel to sink

A Cooke Aquaculture barge carrying fish feed sank earlier this week off Brier Island in Digby County.

The barge, described as "small" was found submerged early Wednesday morning near Cooke's fish farm, company spokeswoman Nell Halse said Saturday afternoon.

That day, she said divers plugged the barge's outlets to prevent liquids from leaking into the water.

"It would have been minimal, whatever was released," Halse said.

'We did report it right away'

No fish or feed are believed to have been lost, she said. No one was on board or injured in the process.

"We did report it right away," Halse said, referring to the federal Department of Transportation, Coast Guard, as well as the provincial departments for fisheries and the environment.

By Thursday evening, the vessel was drained and brought to shore.

In 2012, the company took days to report to the government that a feed barge had sunk.

'I don't want any spills'

Cooke will also be doing its own investigation, but so far, it appears the vessel sank due to a mechanical or human error, Halse said.

Digby County Warden Linda Gregory said she didn't know about the vessel sinking until she asked on Saturday.

"I just hope there is nothing that's going to contaminate the area, such as oil or anything like that," Gregory said.

"I'm sure they'll be good corporate citizens and ensure everything is cleaned up. I don't want any spills or something going on in our area."