Undercurrent News

Cermaq Canada could create up to 20 salmon farms near Chedabucto in Nova Scotia, spend $500m

Apr 6, 2019
Cermaq is interested in spending up to $500 million and creating as many as 20 open net-pen Atlantic salmon farms along the coasts of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, company officials revealed Wednesday, CBC News reports.

The Norwegian salmon farmer, which maintains as many as 27 salmon farming operations off the western coast of Canada for several years but not the eastern coast, announced Wednesday that the Nova Scotia government has granted it four lease options, as reported by Undercurrent News.

Cermaq has entered into exploratory conversations with the Mi’kmaq First Nation, but said it plans to conduct extensive feasibility studies while stepping up public engagement before making a formal commitment to any move.

The areas under consideration include the Chedabucto Bay region, both Guysborough Country and Richmond Valley, on the eastern shoreline of the province, and also in the St. Mary’s region, south of Digby on the province’s southwestern coast.

Few other details were made known in the announcement. However, during a subsequent press event held in the town of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, David Kiemele, Cermaq Canada’s managing director, and Linda Sams, Cermaq’s director of sustainable development, reportedly said the $1.1 billion company, owned by Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp., needs between 10 and 20 farms with an annual output of 20,000 metric tons to justify a move to Nova Scotia.

Kiemele and Sams said the company would also bring with it a hatchery and processing plant and create between 300 and 350 jobs, spending between $400 million and $500m. The first fish would be in the water by 2024 or 2025, they said, according to the CBC.

The Cermaq officials said it will take six months to a year to decide whether Nova Scotia is a good fit for the company.

"This is early days and when you have to make a decision of this magnitude, we need to take our time. Simply put, if we can't find suitable sites, we don't find suitable sites," Kiemele said.


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