Blacks Harbour, N.B. – The province of Nova Scotia gave a New Brunswick-based aquaculture company a sizable loan to help it expand its operations.
Cooke Aquaculture received $25 million in the form of interest-bearing and forgivable loans that will be applied toward its planned $70-million capital infrastructure expansion projects in Shelburne County, Digby and Truro – all in Nova Scotia, reports the ChronicleHerald.ca.
Cooke Aquaculture is also planning to invest $80 million on the operational side.
The company says expanding in Nova Scotia makes sense since it offers favourable conditions for salmon farming in terms of water temperature and its proximity to Cooke’s New Brunswick base.
“We have a base of infrastructure here and it’s supportive of the business,” Nicholls told the ChronicleHerald.ca. “We are closest to the Eastern seaboard of the U.S., the majority of the marketplace.”
The company expects the expansion plans to create more than 400 direct jobs and 1,400 indirect ones for the province.
The FishSite.com reports that fish farmers welcomed the news.
“Today, the Government of Nova Scotia and Cooke Aquaculture are capitalizing on an unprecedented opportunity for rural communities to benefit from and realize the potential of a locally-based, globally competitive, sustainable aquaculture industry,” says Pamela Parker, executive director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association.
“This is absolutely excellent news for Nova Scotia, its coastal communities and for our entire region.”
Parker says this announcement is an important step toward Atlantic Canadians becoming greater benefactors of the growing global need for seafood, says the FishSite.com.
“Global population is expected to increase by two billion in less than 20 years, and it is estimated people will eat 70 per cent more fish. Aquaculture already supplies 50 per cent of the world’s seafood consumed by humans,” says Parker.
She also explained that Atlantic Canada is a prime geographic location to farm fish since it has an abundant natural ocean environment that provides optimal conditions for the well-being of farmed fish and the sustainability of the environment.
“It’s exciting to see Nova Scotia taking steps to take advantage of this opportunity to create jobs at home, generate investment and renew the tax base in rural communities,” adds Parker.
In New Brunswick, salmon farming has created 1,870 jobs in Charlotte County alone, an area once hard hit by unemployment, says Parker. Newfoundland has embraced the aquaculture development opportunity and has seen the value of its industry rise by 50 per cent in one year from $60 million in 2009 to $90 million in 2010.