Salmon farming is still “very viable in Nova Scotia”, says Cermaq

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Salmon farmer says project was pulled because of the temperature profiles.

On Monday, Cermaq’s Canadian subsidiary announced that it could not find suitable locations to justify a USD 500 million move into Nova Scotia.

Last year, the Mitsubishi-owned salmon farmer Cermaq Canada announced that it needed 10-20 sites to make the project viable. This would leave it with an annual output of 20,000 tonnes to justify it, while opening a hatchery and processing plant there also.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to locate enough sites at this time, and have made the decision to allow all of our Options to Lease to expire,” said Cermaq Canada Managing Director David Kiemele on the decision.

In an interview with the Guysborough Journal, Cermaq’s Sustainable Development Director Linda Sams explained that it was not public pressure that was the driver in letting the leases expire, rather it was the climate.

Sams, who is a part Nova Scotia exploration team, told the publication: “For us, it was just the temperature profiles. We knew it would be close and that there could be potential there. Unfortunately, because of climate change, it’s likely, maybe, in the next five to 10 years there might be changes and it might be more hospitable, but right now we just couldn’t find the number of sites for the amount of investment we wanted to do in the province.”

Leaving the door open to the project, Sams added that “marine farming is still very viable in Nova Scotia”. “I think there is a bright future for aquaculture and marine farming and fish farming,” she said.

For now, the company’s Canadian operations will remain based in British Columbia, with locations near Vancouver Island.