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CANADA - Cooke Aquaculture\'s $150M expansion delayed by years

Atlantic Canada\'s largest aquaculture company — Cooke Aquaculture — says it has been forced to delay key elements in a $150-million expansion planned for Nova Scotia by several years. New Brunswick-based Cooke blames a moratorium on new aquaculture sites imposed by the previous New Democratic government in 2013, when it ordered a study of aquaculture. Cooke\'s applications for new aquaculture sites have also been on a shelf for two years.

January 7, 2015

Atlantic Canada\'s largest aquaculture company — Cooke Aquaculture — says it has been forced to delay key elements in a $150-million expansion planned for Nova Scotia by several years. New Brunswick-based Cooke blames a moratorium on new aquaculture sites imposed by the previous New Democratic government in 2013, when it ordered a study of aquaculture. Cooke\'s applications for new aquaculture sites have also been on a shelf for two years.

Halse says a state-of-the art salmon processing plant promised for Shelburne — and other plans — are now years behind schedule. 

\"We had hoped everything would be in place for our plant to be open in 2015, but clearly with this tremendous delay, we are not there. We still need additional farm sites and production,\" she says. 

In 2012 the province committed $25 million to help finance a Cooke expansion in Nova Scotia. In addition to a processing plant in Shelburne, the company also planned a new fish hatchery in Digby and an expanded feed mill in Truro. 

In order to justify the expansion, Cooke says it needs to double salmon production in Nova Scotia to three million fish in the water. 

Nell Halse says the company is still committed to the Nova Scotia expansion but does not know when it will proceed.

[Source: Paul Withers, CBC News. Read full story]

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