$500m Cermaq expansion pushed back

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“I can’t say we’re any closer than we were six months ago,” says Cermaq Canada director of sustainable development Linda Sams.

The Mitsubishi-owned salmon farmer Cermaq is no closer to setting up a half a billion-dollar expansion in NL, Canada, and has pushed back the project at least another  four months, CBC reports.

In April, the province of Nova Scotia granted Cermaq four Options to Lease and the company intends to launch site investigations, feasibility studies as well as extensive public engagement.

The company is “still looking at other areas” of coastal Nova Scotia but for now the focus is on the publicly identified lease areas in NL, Canada which include: the Chedabucto Bay region (Guysborough Country and Richmond Valley) on the eastern shoreline and in the St. Mary’s region south of Digby on the province’s south-western coast.

Cermaq Canada director of sustainable development Linda Sams

Cermaq said that it needs between 10 and 20 fish farms with an annual output of 20,000 tonnes to justify coming to Nova Scotia, where it would also open a hatchery and processing plant.

Cermaq director of sustainable development Linda Sams told the publication that the company had been talking to different stakeholders”.

“The Mi’kmaq First Nation, fishermen, and we need more time to have really in-depth conversations. That was the driving force for asking for the extension,” added Sams.

“I can’t say we’re any closer than we were six months ago,” she said. “But we have a lot more information and I do believe that within the next three to four months, we’ll really be starting to put some more definitive lines on maps and moving forward.”

She added: “If things do proceed, we’d be looking at being in the province for decades and decades. So we’re not only looking at conditions now but looking at forecasting what conditions might be like even up to 20 years from now”.