Aquaculture company changes Shelburne plans

Greg
Greg Bennett
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Ocean Trout Farms initially intended to stock a Shelburne Harbour site.

By Greg Bennett

The Coast Guard

Ocean Trout Farms has changed its mind about stocking sites in Shelburne Harbour with trout following a disease outbreak at Cooke Aquaculture sites earlier this year.

Instead, the company has begun the process to stock its lease site near Spectacle Island in Port Mouton Bay with rainbow trout. It will fallow sites in Shelburne Harbour.

The move has not been a popular one for some in the Queens County community but company officials said they were left with little choice but to reopen the bay to aquaculture.

“We would have liked to have had more time to work with the community prior to stocking this site,” says Sherman d’Entremont, Operations Manager, Ocean Trout Farms. “The unfortunate events in Shelburne Harbour and the arrangements made have led to a need to move quickly to change our original plans.”

 Earlier this year, the outbreak of salmon anemia in Shelburne Harbour in salmon cages operated by Cooke Aquaculture led to the culling of thousands of salmon.

Ocean Trout Farms initially intended to send these fish to its Shelburne Harbour site. The company felt the need to stock this site in order to ensure the continuity of supply of its own products, and to minimize the impact on its local partners, including small hatchery operators in the province.

Despite protests that the Queens County bay is surrounded by pristine beaches, the company says the Spectacle Island site is well-suited to growing trout.

“Trout have a much shorter grow-out period and lower market weight than Atlantic salmon, thereby leading to relatively low biomass levels on the Spectacle Island site,” reads a company release.

 Future plans for the site are still being discussed.

Ocean Trout Farms is a small, family-owned company. It has operated throughout the province since 2000. It operates small sites in different areas of the province, and is promising to operate in a respectful manner within the Port Mouton community.

 

Organizations: Coast Guard

Geographic location: Shelburne Harbour, Spectacle Island, Port Mouton Bay Queens

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  • Jan
    June 11, 2012 - 22:07

    Following more than 15 years of finfish aquaculture in Port Mouton Bay it is clear to everyone that Port Mouton Bay is unsuitable for aquaculture. This is especially clear to the Municipality of Queens whose Mayor, John Leefe, and the elected officials have asked that Port Mouton Bay be declared closed to aquaculture because it is unsuitable. Unsuitable according the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture's (DFA) own measure. Cooke's Aquaculture removed their fish our and closed the farm. Ocean Trout will learn the hard way. I hope it doesn't put them under. This is a dirty site. DFA ranked Site #0835 the most polluted in the province--Type C, no oxygen. In fact according the Aquaculture Division, Port Mouton Bay is the only Type C site in the province! Pollution accumulated to the extent that sulfide levels measured as high as 10,000uM. Everything dies from lack of oxygen at 6000uM! 10.000um in Port Mouton Bay. But see for yourself. Scroll down to Fig. 2 and find the little red diamond all by itself on the upper left. Type C. That’s Port Mouton Bay. All alone. In a class by itself! http://www.gov.ns.ca/fish/aquaculture/EMPSummaryReport.pdf 10,000uM, no oxygen, the most polluted site in the province. What on earth is Ocean Trout thinking?