An Assessment of Coastal Infrastructure Relevant to the Fishing and Aquaculture Industries in ACAS Study Areas

The commercial fishery combined with the aquaculture industry is worth approximately a billion dollars to Nova Scotia’s economy. Perhaps the most obvious symbols of the importance of these industries are the numerous pieces of harbour and working waterfront infrastructure that define much of Nova Scotia’s coast. In recognizing the importance of these industries to Nova Scotia’s coastal communities, the Department of Fishery and Aquaculture (DFA) has been given a mandate to promote the sustainable development of these industries. DFA’s Coastal Section is also in the process of coordinating the developing a Coastal Strategy for the Province of Nova Scotia, which seeks to address climate change and working waterfronts. It is for these reasons that DFA has become involved in an Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions (ACAS) project. As part of Nova Scotia’s commitment to this project, DFA is proposing to undertake a pilot study to assess the vulnerability to climate change impacts of infrastructure relevant to the fishery and aquaculture industries. Building on Nova Scotia’s current ACAS proposal, the focus areas for DFA’s proposal will be the six Nova Scotian case study areas: Yarmouth, Lunenburg, Oxford-Port Howe, Minas Basin, Chignecto Isthmus and the Halifax Regional Municipality. In focusing on these six areas, the DFA proposal will first seek to conduct an assessment to determine what relevant infrastructure exists in these areas, the significance of this infrastructure and its vulnerability to climate change (sea level rise, storm surge, flooding). This assessment process will draw on a number of sources of information, including work completed by the ACAS project to date, associated municipalities and DFO’s Small Craft Harbours (SCH) program. Once an assessment has been completed, the project will seek to identify a series of next steps for moving forward on how to adapt vulnerable infrastructure to climate change. This project and its recommendations will be useful for decision makers in the ACAS municipalities, the province, federal government and industries, Objectives for the project are: To assess the potential impacts of climate change on infrastructure relevant to the fishery and aquaculture industries in the six ACAS study areas. To develop a vulnerability assessment methodology to support planning and decision-making on management of infrastructure relevant to the fishery and aquaculture industries., 1. A final report which contains details of: The status of infrastructure relevant to the fishery and aquaculture industries in the six ACAS areas. This will include: an inventory, types, locations, maps etc; A description of the social and economic value of infrastructure relevant to the fishery and aquaculture industries; Climate change risks and vulnerabilities of the infrastructure relevant to the fishery and aquaculture industries; A methodology and approach to assessing the vulnerability of infrastructure relevant to the fishery and aquaculture industries; and Recommendations for policy and management of infrastructure relevant to the fishery and aquaculture industries. 2. A presentation that can be used to disseminate the knowledge gained from the project., Improved knowledge and information on the potential impacts of climate change on infrastructure relevant to the fishery and aquaculture industries. Advances in methodology for assessing the vulnerability infrastructure relevant to the fishery and aquaculture industries. Improved climate change adaptation policies, regulations, and programs for infrastructure relevant to fishery and aquaculture industries.