Aquaculture for all

Nova Scotia opens public consultation on aquaculture regulations

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The Provincial Government is inviting residents to share their feedback on potential aquaculture regulations during four weeks of public consultation.

Net pens in the sea

Nova Scotia’s aquaculture sector employs nearly 900 people and contributes $90 million per year to the provincial economy

“Since December, we’ve met with community stakeholders, industry representatives and public sector partners to understand their perspectives and hear their thoughts on how we could improve our aquaculture regulations. And now, we want to hear from Nova Scotians,” said Steve Craig, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. “You don’t need to be an expert to be part of this process. If you live in this province and have an interest in its future, we’d love to hear from you.”

Nova Scotia’s aquaculture sector employs nearly 900 people and contributes $90 million per year to the provincial economy. There are 235 marine and land-based aquaculture sites throughout the province that are governed my regulations that have been in place since 2015.

Nova Scotia’s current aquaculture regulations were developed following an 18-month independent review by environmental law experts Meinhard Doelle and William Lahey. They reflect best practices of experienced aquaculture regions around the world and recommendations from the province’s auditor general at the time.

Public consultation is open from 9 August to 6 September. People can provide feedback through an online survey with six open-ended questions. A public input guide with an overview of aquaculture in Nova Scotia and a summary of the current regulatory framework is also available. The survey and guide can be found here.

Meetings with stakeholders are ongoing, as is engagement with Mi’kmaq communities and municipalities.

“A commitment to continuous improvement means taking the time to reflect on our priorities, learn from lived experience, listen to differing viewpoints and understand what’s most important to the people in our communities,” Chief Terrance Paul, co-chair of Nova Scotia’s Aquaculture Regulatory Advisory Committee said.

“This is the right time to step back and do that with our aquaculture regulations. If there are opportunities to improve on the framework in place today, this review will help us identify them.”

The regulatory review will include representatives from the aquaculture and fisheries industries, municipalities, First Nations, environmental groups and other community stakeholders. The committee will consider stakeholder feedback and public input in making recommendations to the Minister on how the regulations may be improved.