Aqua­cul­ture reg­u­la­tions to be up­dated

The Victoria Standard - - Local News - HAL­I­FAX

Nova Sco­tia’s Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture Minister Keith Col­well in­tro­duced amend­ments to the Fish­eries and Coastal Re­sources Act on March 9 with the in­tent to im­prove how the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try is reg­u­lated. In a state­ment re­leased af­ter the bill’s in­tro­duc­tion, the Minister in­di­cated that im­proved reg­u­la­tions will con­trib­ute to sus­tain­able growth.

"Aqua­cul­ture is es­ti­mated to have been worth over $100 mil­lion to the Nova Sco­tia econ­omy in 2017," said Minister Col­well. "As we con­tinue to im­prove our reg­u­la­tions, we are cre­at­ing the con­di­tions and clar­ity that will en­able the in­dus­try to con­tinue to grow re­spon­si­bly and sus­tain­ably."

The pro­posed changes will pro­vide clar­ity to in­dus­try on var­i­ous op­er­a­tional is­sues, and stream­line some pro­cesses now in place, in­clud­ing al­low­ing the amal­ga­ma­tion of two or more ad­ja­cent li­censed aqua­cul­ture sites by the same op­er­a­tor un­der one li­cence, re­quir­ing min­is­te­rial ap­proval to ap­ply to the Aqua­cul­ture Review Board to amend an ex­ist­ing li­cence or lease, cre­at­ing a class of in­sti­tu­tional aqua­cul­ture li­cences and leases for non-com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions and clar­i­fy­ing the process around the 30-day ap­peal pe­riod for Aqua­cul­ture Review Board de­ci­sions.

Ini­tial in­dus­try re­sponse ap­peared favourable.

"In­dus­try be­lieves the move to al­low con­sol­i­da­tion of ad­ja­cent leases will pro­vide ef­fi­cien­cies for farm man­age­ment prac­tices and re­duce red tape for small business," said Tom Smith, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor, Aqua­cul­ture As­so­ci­a­tion of NS.

Aqua­cul­ture is re­spon­si­ble for sup­port­ing about 600 di­rect jobs, many lo­cated in the ru­ral ar­eas of the prov­ince.

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