We know firsthand the potential the Municipality of Argyle and surrounding areas have in resources, both natural and human. The waters in Lobster Bay and Pubnico Harbour, for example, are excellent for the growth of shellfish and marine plants, and our current sea farmers are extremely driven, innovative, environmentally conscious, and knowledgeable people.
The Municipality recognizes the need to diversify economic opportunities in the sea; it's our greatest asset of all! While there are currently three farmers growing American oysters in our waters, we recognize that there is an opportunity for the aquaculture industry to grow while allowing current uses to continue.
Argyle Council had identified further development of the aquaculture industry as a priority in 2015. In 2017, a provincial grant was awarded to the Municipality that was used to perform testing for water quality attributes like temperature, salinity, pH, and phytoplankton. The intention was for this information to be shared with prospective farmers so that they could choose to apply to the NS Dept. of Fisheries and Aquaculture for licenses and leases in areas that showed positive water quality results.
Approximately two years later the Municipality began conversations with the NS Dept. of Fisheries and Aquaculture on doing more than just supplying potential investors with data. The concept of an Aquaculture Development Area (ADA) was introduced and in 2020 both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on exploring for an ADA.
An ADA would set the stage for further aquaculture development and industry spinoffs such as trucking, tourism, and the manufacturing of associated goods and services such as packaging.
See a video by the Nova Scotia Government about Aquaculture and Economic Development which includes the work done by the Municipality of Argyle on the Aquaculture Development Area.
One of the municipality's strategic objectives is to identify current strengths and opportunities in Argyle to foster new economic growth and innovation. With a strong fishing industry and optimal water conditions, a natural fit for potential growth was in the aquaculture sector.
With an abundance of water, the municipality saw our waterways as an underdeveloped asset in our community. Such as industrial parks on land, the idea was born to develop a business park on the sea and prepare "lots" for lease.
Our long standing history of fishermen and women have passed down the skills required to succeed in the industry. With a lobster fishing season that has a 6 month break and the financial means, aquaculture is a suitable industry to re-invest.
Our waters are warm and much of it is sheltered due the numerous islands which creates a perfect environment for shellfish and marine plant growth. With these ideal conditions and the potential for growth, the municipality wanted to entice investors by simplifying the application process.