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Position Statement

Open Pen Fish Farm

May 29, 2022

TIANS has been asked to restate our position regarding the Open Pen Fish Farms in Nova Scotia in light of the application for 2 new Open Pen Fish Farms and one expanded site in Liverpool Bay, NS.

This application for expansion is gravely concerning in this well-established coastal tourism area. There is significant opposition from numerous community groups concerned with the environmental and tourism impact around this type of activity.

In February 2013, after an extensive jurisdictional scan of Open Pen Fish Farms TIANS released its first Public Position which focused on the potential impacts of this type of aquaculture for the province. In early January 2020, additional research on destinations that have moved away from Open Pen to land based only, was undertaken and our position reaffirmed.

TIANS continues to maintain the principles outlined in our position on Aquaculture Development. Any decisions made regarding aquaculture operations must include consideration for the possible negative impact on the tourism industry, which is Nova Scotia’s largest service export. In 2023, tourism generated $3.2 billion in revenue, accounted for almost $500 million in tax revenues, employing over 40,000 Nova Scotians. As the sector continues to rebuild from COVID-19, protecting our natural assets, including the pristine coastal environment is critical.

The viability of hundreds of tourism businesses across Nova Scotia are dependent on the sea and coastal experiences. Recreational and eco-tourism activities are two of the fastest growing sectors of tourism in North America. People are attracted to Nova Scotia in large part by our beautiful and pristine coastlines and our brand for the province “Canada’s Ocean Playground” says it all. Regulatory policy and decisions which do not protect the health of our marine ecosystems will be detrimental to current and future tourism growth.

As well as recognizing the impact on tourism as a key factor when considering new site location applications, TIANS upholds the following key, principle position:

  • closed containment land-based finfish and small-scale shellfish operations provide the most responsible practices for development in Nova Scotia. A focus on these types of operations would be more sustainable for the province and minimize the impact upon other industries.

In summary, the health and sustainability of Nova Scotia’s lucrative tourism industry is intricately linked to our natural and coastal assets. Tourism enhances the cultural, environmental and social health of every Nova Scotia community. A decision to support expansion of Open Pen Fish Farms would negatively impact the province’s tourism industry and other primary resource sectors.

TIANS represents thousand of businesses and workers across Nova Scotia.