Aquaculture for all

Cooke gets go-ahead for New Brunswick post-smolt RAS

Atlantic Salmon Hatcheries Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) +6 more

Cooke Aquaculture has been cleared to build a $72 million land-based post-smolt facility in New Brunswick, Canada.

The plan for the Kelly Cove Salmon post-smolt facility

Cooke Aquaculture hopes it will allow them to grow post-smolts up to 500 g each before they are transferred to net pens in the sea © Cooke Aquaculture

Cooke subsidiary Kelly Cove Salmon (KCS), announced this week that it has received a certification of determination to proceed from the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government for the construction of its proposed aquaculture facility in Bayside.

The company - which farms salmon in Canada, the US, Scotland, Chile and Tasmania - said that the approval “is an important step achieved upon successful completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)”.

Located in the Champlain Industrial Park alongside the Passamaquoddy Bay, the new facility was first mooted in 2017, in order to give the company the chance to grow post-smolt Atlantic salmon up to 500 g each before transferring them to marine sites, thereby shortening their exposure to marine challenges, such as sea lice.

“Hybrid systems, involving a mix of land and marine-based fish farming will continue to be part of our future. We have been operating land-based salmon hatcheries and marine farms sustainably for 38 years,” says Joel Richardson, vice-president of public relations for Cooke. “Innovative scientific technologies bring a new opportunity for greater production in ocean waters by shortening time Atlantic salmon spend in marine cages.”

Scope for growth in eastern Canada

In March of last year, Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson, released the New Brunswick Finfish Aquaculture Growth Strategy 2022-2030. Its guiding responsible development in the province’s finfish aquaculture sector with a focus on land-based production through the implementation of new technological advancements.

It is expected that KCS’s multi-phased project will take three years to complete and create more than 340 direct construction jobs and 222 indirect and induced jobs.

The post-smolt facility is just one of the investments Cooke is making in Charlotte County. Earlier this year, Cooke’s new, $21 million freshwater hatchery in Pennfield became operational, and the company recently completed a $50 million expansion at its salmon processing plant in St George.

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