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In Memoriam: Professor Meinhard Doelle

We are pleased to share a tribute to Meinhard Doelle, written by our friend and supporter, Stewart Lamont of Tangier Lobster Company, which we had planned to share at our event in late September (but postponed due to Fiona).

Anyone in Nova Scotia who has been advocating for stricter regulations (or moratorium) for net-pen fish farms is familiar with the often referenced Doelle-Lahey report. This was an independent review of our DFA's aquaculture regulations and a summary report. It was these recommendations by Doelle-Lahey for a regulatory framework based on low-impact/high-value, that informed the regulations in place today, although DFA omitted some of the most relevant and key recommendations made by Doelle-Lahey including those related to social license.

As you may or may not know, the aquaculture regulations are currently undergoing a 5-year review (as recommended by Doelle-Lahey) this time, by independent consultants, Davis Pier Consulting (Halifax). It is this *Davis Pier* review, the first since the Doelle-Lahey review, that we recently asked YOU all to participate in as part of DFA's request for public input. Prior to this final stage of their consultation work, input had been gathered from various stakeholders and community groups. No doubt much of the input received in the past few months referenced Doelle-Lahey's recommendations.

Stewart sits on the Minister's Regulatory Review Committee and will be assessing the upcoming report by Davis Pier and the resulting proposed recommendations.

We'll share the results of this new review as soon as its made available.


BY: Stewart Lamont


Professor Meinhard Doelle passed away on September 17th at the shocking age of 58. He was a Professor of Law at Dalhousie University for many years and among other notable contributions, the co-author of the Doelle-Lahey Report. Many will be aware that this remarkably comprehensive study recommended a revolutionary new approach to Aquaculture for Nova Scotia.

Professor Doelle was a highly respected academic who had a deep love for this province and all issues related to the environment in particular. Even more importantly perhaps, he was incredibly well regarded by both his colleagues and his students. His classes were extremely popular, and his guidance routinely sought in so many instances…

Beyond the tragedy of his death at such an age, there is the irony that the first Regulatory Review of Nova Scotia Aquaculture is now taking place. The last government chose to ‘cherry pick’ among the Doelle-Lahey recommendations and not adopt the comprehensive approach the authors intended. The report and its progressive approach will now be carefully reviewed once again with a view to what has transpired over the last 7 years since its introduction. Professor Doelle’s name and significant contributions will undoubtedly be prominent in this review process during the days ahead.

I had the distinct pleasure of presenting before Meinhard Doelle and Professor Bill Lahey on 3 separate occasions and attending a special class which he and Professor Lahey put on for Dal students. There could not be a more accommodating academic, more suited for the process. All I can think of right now is his enduring grin and how approachable he was. He literally had time for everyone, me included. Our sincere condolences to Professor Doelle’s family, colleagues and friends at this exceedingly difficult time.

Professor Meinhard Doelle, May 25 1964 - September 17, 2022


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