In April of this year, the Friends of Port Mouton Bay (FPMB) and the Region of Queens requested the provincial government close off the bay permanently to aquaculture. The government refused, stating it would be legally challenging to do so. They also said the moratorium on expansion in the bay is not officially on the books, but they would try to prevent expansion if an application came forward.
Just a few weeks after this setback, Ocean Trout Farm started stocking the farm in Port Mouton last week with rainbow trout. Ocean Trout Farms took over the site from Cooke Aquaculture earlier this year, which also saw Cooke take over the Coffin Island site Ocean Trout Farms had owned. The Port Mouton site had been empty for almost three years, through an agreement the FPMB and Cooke Aquaculture to study the effects on the site.
In a press release through the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia, Ocean Trout Farms says they had to stock this site after the a disease outbreak at the Shelburne sites owned by the company earlier this year.
“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 for 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.”
Ocean Trout Farms initially intended to send these fish to its Shelburne Harbour site. The company felt the need to stock the Port Mouton site in order to ensure the continuity of supply of its own products, as well as to minimize the impact on its local partners.