09/21/2011 01:43 EDT | Updated 11/21/2011 05:12 EST

Oceanographer says Nova Scotia needs strategic plan for marine energy

HALIFAX - A marine biologist says the Nova Scotia government needs to come up with a strategic plan before it proceeds with commercial tidal energy projects.

Bob Fournier was hired by the province last fall to lead consultations on the drafting of marine renewable energy legislation.

He presented 27 recommendations today that stress the need for a five-year road map for the sector, public involvement, tidal energy research and regular environmental assessments on any projects.

Energy Minister Charlie Parker says the government is adopting the recommendations and will have a strategic plan this fall.

Parker expects legislation next spring.

There are about four consortiums interested in putting turbines in the Bay of Fundy, a body of water known for its strong currents and energy potential.