Queens Municipality passes motion against Liverpool aquaculture project
Council's stance on aquaculture is a reverse of its 2014 position
The Region of Queens Municipality, N.S., council voted 5-3 in favour of a motion to oppose any aquaculture expansion in Liverpool Bay, but that doesn't prevent a proposed project from going ahead.
Kelly Cove Salmon, a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture, already has 14 salmon cages at a site in Liverpool Bay near Coffin Island. Cooke made an application to the province to add 46 more cages in Liverpool Bay, which is enough capacity for 1.8 million salmon.
The decision to allow the expansion is made by Nova Scotia's three-member aquaculture review board.
Mayor David Dagley said he expects a decision from the board later this year.
Dagley voted against council's motion. He said he's not ready to oppose the expansion until he sees the entire application.
"I don't have the science," Dagley said. "I will tell you that, personally, there are places in the world where aquaculture works great. And there are locations in the world where it does not. And I always like to base my position on the science."
Coun. Heather Kelly was among the majority voters.
"I think here in Queens County specifically, one of the things that we're known for is our beaches," she said.
The expansion would be located near Beach Meadows Beach.
Kelly said she's heard from residents who, for years, have asked that the 14 Cooke-owned salmon cages be removed.
She said the proposed expansion is too big.
"I think that's too fast and too much all at once in one place along our coastal shores," Kelly said.
Council's new position reverses its 2014 position on aquaculture expansion.
In November 2014, the Region of Queens Municipality wrote a letter to the Fisheries and Aquaculture minister that said it wasn't opposed to fish farming. The letter also said that Cooke had "an excellent relationship with local fishermen and we appreciate the employment it brings to the area."