11/12/2015 17:02 EST | Updated 11/12/2016 00:12 EST

Nova Scotia's aquaculture rules need tightening: environmental law group

HALIFAX — A law research group says the Nova Scotia government's new aquaculture regulations fall far short of what was recommended in a sweeping independent report.

East Coast Environmental Law says its analysis of the regulatory framework introduced last month shows an improvement from previous rules, but the non-profit group says big gaps remain when it comes to openness and transparency.

In particular, the group says the regulations do not include provisions concerning the proactive release of information to the public.

That was a key recommendation in a report released last December by Dalhousie University law professors Meinhard Doelle and Bill Lahey.

Provincial Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell challenged the group's assertion, saying the government has committed to releasing all information about aquaculture sites so long as it isn't business information that could affect competitiveness.

Colwell also rejected the group's claim that the new rules don't cover the designation of certain at-risk areas as unsuitable for aquaculture.

The minister says the regulations remain a "live document" subject to changes.






The Canadian Press