© Greg Bennett
Beginning this week, Cooke Aquaculture will be installing the nets and cages at their approved Jordan sites. Gear is ready to go aboard the Fundy Navigator where the markers and ropes will create a grid system for the fish to go in for April. Greg Bennett photo
By Amy Woolvett
Cooke Aquaculture is working to prepare the two approved sites for Jordan Bay, with fish expected to go in at the end of April.
The Blue Island farm currently has the grid installed and the grid system on the other farm will be installed as soon as the weather improves.
“Beginning next week,” said Nell Halse vice president of communications for Cooke Aquaculture. “We will be installing the cages and the nets.”
Approximately 475,000 fish will be placed in each farm by the end of April and will be expected to be harvested in 18-months.
“We have already hired 16 people for the area and should have up to 27 new employees once the farms in Shelburne and Jordan Bay are stocked and operational,” said Halse.
This is considered to be phase one of a three-phase project for a processing facility in Shelburne.
The first phase is to build up a farm capacity including the Jordan and Digby sites as well as design for the facility.
The second is to work on the hatchery and the third phase is to construct the facility.
“It is still happening,” said Halse. “The whole project should be complete and operational by the end of 2015.”
Cooke Aquaculture plans to invest $150-million in creating and expanding its operations with Shelburne as the place to build their facility.
The company said that the processing facility is expected to create up to 320 jobs.
The province loaned the company $25-million that included a $9-million forgivable loan as well as an additional $4-million if certain specifications were met including the number of jobs created, research development and commercialization of innovation in the aquaculture industry.