The Board

The Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board (Board) is an independent decision making body with a mandate to decide on aquaculture applications in marine areas for new sites, expansions to existing sites, and the addition of finfish species to sites not currently approved to produce finfish.

This independent tribunal will preside over public hearings where applicants and other parties will present their cases in respect to the aquaculture application(s) in question. Once the hearing concludes, the Board will decide on the application(s) for implementation by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Our Board

The Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board is comprised of three appointed members who hear and decide upon applications coming before the Board.

The members are as follows:

Jean McKenna, Chair

Ms. McKenna is a retired lawyer with 30 years’ experience as a litigation lawyer. She is currently the chair of the Nova Scotia Police Review Board.
Re-appointment: Three-year term.

Dr. Richard (Dick) Patterson, Member

Dr. Patterson, is currently the president of AquaEng Consulting. Dr. Patterson continues to study the engineering aspects of aquaculture broadly. He is an adjunct assistant professor of the Engineering Department, Dalhousie University and a member of the Aquaculture Engineering Society.
Re-appointment: Three-year term.

Michael McKinnon, Member

Having been the owner of multiple businesses, Mr. McKinnon has gained experience in business management and financial risk assessment. He has knowledge of recreational fishing industries through his long-time involvement in recreational salmon fly fishing.
Re-appointment: Three-year term.


The Board is supported by the Clerk of the Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board. The Clerk is responsible for all administrative aspects of the Board including; receiving applications, scheduling and organizing hearings, receiving hearing related submissions from the public, acting as the conduit between all parties to a hearing and the Board, responding to questions from the public, and distribution of Board decisions.

Conduct of Hearings

In carrying out its responsibilities, the Board will travel throughout the province to hold hearings in the communities that it determines to be closest to the aquaculture site in question.

The Clerk will post information about Board hearings on this website, in the Royal Gazette, on the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture website, and anywhere else deemed appropriate to advertise the hearing.

Board hearings are open to the public and will generally last one day. Members of the public can participate at a hearing in several ways, as described on the How to Participate page.

Although the Board is not a court, its proceedings will be conducted in accordance with Rules of Procedure.  Please refer to the Rules of Procedure and Policies page for more specific information on how Board hearings will be conducted. 

The Board is required to issue a decision about the application under review. All decisions will be in writing and will include the reasons and the rationale for how the Board reached its decision. All decisions can be found on the Decisions page. 

Board Decisions may be appealed to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia about any question of the Board’s jurisdiction or about any question of law.