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Kingfish Maine Gets Final Permit Approval For Jonesport Fish Farm

Courtesy Kingfish Zeeland
via Bangor Daily News

A land-based fish farm proposed for Jonesport is making progress in its bid to join the ranks of several aquaculture companies seeking a beachhead in Maine.

Maine's Department of Environmental Protection has issued a discharge permit to a company called Kingfish Maine that is proposing an enclosed, onshore plant that would produce thousands of tons of yellowtail fish a year.

DEP found that all water quality standards will be met in Chandler’s Bay. The agency also found that nitrogen discharges would incrementally lower water quality, but not below levels required to protect eelgrass, which is one of the bay’s most sensitive species. DEP may allow discharges that lower water quality when it determines that the action is "necessary to achieve important economic or social benefits to the State," which it did in this case.

Netherlands-based Kingfish Maine's 15-to-20 acre "recirculating aquaculture system" proposal is similar to land-based salmon farms other developers are planning for Bucksport and Belfast.

Here’s the permit:

Corrected: July 8, 2021 at 4:54 PM EDT
This story has been revised to clarify that while the permit allows for a lowering of water quality in relation to eelgrass, it does not change the DEP’s water quality standards.
A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.