MUNICIPALITY OF ARGYLE AQUACULTURE

The Municipality of Argyle is a rural municipality made up of 1500 square kilometers of both coastal and inland communities. Because of our unique geography, many of our communities are located on “fingers of land” which jut out into the sea.

 

Located in Southwestern Nova Scotia and boasting a population of 7,899, we are proud to be the longest continuously settled Acadian French culture region in Atlantic Canada and are home to the world's best seafood & hard-shell lobster.

 

Our Acadian culture, coupled with our coastal landscape and connection to the sea, has helped ingrain the fishing industry in our history. We are home to  Dennis Point Wharf, the largest commercial fishing wharf in Atlantic Canada,  where over 1000 fishermen and women make their living fishing  for a variety of ground fish and shell fish, most notably lobster.  

THE WHY

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, 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 growth. With these ideal conditions and the potential for growth, the municipal needed to increase awareness and entice investors.

THE PROCESS

In March 2017, the Municipality received funding to create an online tool to attract and provide information to potential investors for aquaculture operations; namely oysters and marine plants.

Five initial sites were chosen for testing based on water depth, shelter, lack of houses and cottages, and avoided navigation routes: Tusket River, Indian Sluice, Roberts Island, Calf Island and Central Argyle.

Université Sainte-Anne's Laboratory for Innovation in Science and Industry was engaged to take these samples, and they began analyzing the results as they received them. Samples were taken at high tide going down and low tide going up.

WATER TESTING

Water was tested for: pH, salinity, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphorous, silicon and phytoplankton.

Warmth and phytoplankton aid in growth and salinity gives the oysters and preferred taste.

Based on statistics provided by Eel Lake Oysters, 2 sites were added: Salt Bay and Widgegum Island.

FINDINGS

Based on the testing, it was determined that two of the sites could be omitted due to its poor salinity and to much lobster fishing gear in the area.

The data shows that Salt Bay has the second most phytoplankton of all of the sites which corresponds to the fast growth. The waters surrounding Calf Island has more salinity than average and has more phytoplankton than all of the other sites.