A Nova Scotia conservation group says two newly-approved aquaculture sites announced by the provincial government Tuesday are not appropriate for the open-net farming pens.

Kelly Cove Salmon, a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture, has been granted the right to operate two fish farming pens in Shelburne County’s Jordan Bay.

But Susanna Fuller of the Ecology Action Centre says Jordan Bay is too shallow for fish farms and doesn’t have a strong enough current to wash away fish waste.

“Shallow water with no current means all of the feces from the salmon farms goes directly to the bottom and doesn’t get flushed away,” said Fuller. “That area of the South Shore just doesn’t have huge flushing rates. They are shallow bays, they are not appropriate for this kind of industrial farming.”

She says it was premature of the government to approve the sites before it reviews its regulations and policies for open-net pens as set out in an aquaculture strategy released earlier this year.

Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau says the company went through a rigorous two-year application process that concluded the sites would pose minimal risk to the environment.

The government says a condition of the agreement includes site monitoring by a third-party consultant.

Kelly Cove Salmon will also be required to establish a committee to provide a forum for communication with the community.

The Canadian Press