Nova Scotia

Cooke Aquaculture reports barge sinking days later

Cooke Aquaculture says the accidental sinking of one of its feed barges caused little harm to the environment.

Government told Thursday the feed barge sank last weekend

Cooke Aquaculture says the accidental sinking of one of its feed barges caused little harm to the environment.

Nell Halse, who speaks for the company, said it happened last Sunday in Nova Scotia's St. Margaret's Bay. However, the company did not inform government officials until Thursday.

Halse said that was an oversight.

"This was a breakdown in our internal communications," said Halse. "It's definitely our corporate policy that these notifications are carried out immediately and it was a disconnect between some of our people. We have dealt with that internally so that won't happen again."

Divers were sent to the wreck immediately to plug any fuel leaks, and she said an inspection by the Coast Guard did not find any significant fuel spillage.

Halse said Cooke Aquaculture will salvage the feed barge, which she described as a small service vessel.

"We want to do it as soon as possible, but clearly you have to have the right equipment to do this safely and properly so it just depends on when we can get the right barge out there to bring the vessel to the surface." She said they are conducting an internal investigation.

"We have over 350 vessels in our company of all different sizes so this is a very rare incident."

Halse said the sinking did not cause any damage to the fish farm.

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