Aquaculture in St. Mary’s Bay, Digby County

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs have continued to be in opposition to the development of two aquaculture sites in St. Mary’s Bay by Kelly Cove Salmon/Cooke Aquaculture for various environmental and socio-economic reasons. The Assembly has indicated on numerous occasions throughout the Mi’kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Consultation Process to the Government of Nova Scotia that a zero tolerance policy on the approval of the salmon finfish farms in the St. Mary’s Bay is the perspective of the Mi’kmaq. 

Concerns of the Assembly surround items such as, but not limited to, Mi’kmaq food, social and ceremonial fishery within or near the project area; Mi’kmaq communal commercial fishery within or near the project area; serious environmental impacts and the protection of submerged Mi’kmaq archaeological resources.

Recently it has come to the attention of the Assembly that three representatives of Kelly Cove Salmon/Cooke Aquaculture have been charged with violating sections of the federal Fisheries Act. Environment Canada is alleging that Kelly Cove Salmon released a cypermethrin-based pesticide into the waters of Maces Bay, Passamoquoddy Bay as well as the water near Deer Island and Grand Manan Island between November 2009 and November 2010. Environment Canada indicated that cypermenthrin is not authorized for use in marine environments in Canada as it is harmful to crustaceans including, but not limited to, lobster and shrimp. 

The Assembly has contacted the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, on behalf of the Mi’kmaq, to express how they are concerned that an unauthorized pesticide was used as the Mi’kmaq have exercised their Treaty and Aboriginal Right to fish within the Bay of Fundy for those species identified by Environment Canada.

It was made clear in the communication with the government that the Assembly does not support Kelly Cove Salmon/Cooke Aquaculture or any other aquaculture companies that intends to harm and destroy marine species and ecosystems important to the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.

Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office works to ensure the claims for Aboriginal rights and title are recognized, on behalf of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and the Mi’kmaq through the ongoing Made-In-Nova Scotia Process and as well as under the Terms of Reference for a Mi’kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada consultation process.