http://friendsoffrenchmanbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/FFB-main-concerns-with-AA-proposal.pdf

http://friendsoffrenchmanbay.org/ffb-5-17-21-fbc-letter/

Many articles below the intro, the most recent articles added at the bottom of the scroll

American Aquafarms, based in Portland and organized recently by the Norwegian Firm, Global AS, is proposing a gigantic farmed salmon operation for Frenchman Bay. Plans are to place 30 huge sea pens, each 150 feet wide, just north of the Porcupine Islands and in a separate location north of Bald Rock occupying a total of 100 acres in the bay. The company is also in agreement to buy the former cannery and lobster processing factory  in Gouldsboro, where it plans to substantially rebuild and expand the plant in order to hatch the eggs and process the fish it raises in Frenchman Bay.

Ocean based salmon farming is environmentally unsound, and has been banned in Washington State. Impacts include: pollution from fish waste, transfer of disease and sea lice to wild fish, use of chemicals (antibiotics and pesticides) that impact wild marine life, escaped farmed fish changing the genetics of wild salmon and more. Details about the proposed pen containment technology and the infrastructure, including the height, lighting, generator noise as continuous pumps will be running , potential diesel spills, and maintenance of the pens, were not provided by the company. To date there have not been any environmental impact studies of the proposed pens on the health of Frenchman Bay.

How will these structures impact the lobster fishery of Frenchman Bay, and the existing local aquaculture ?

Removal of “solids” from the containment pens (large plastic bags filled with thousands of fish and their waste) does not account for the significant liquefied waste produced both by the fish and by the dissolved fish food. This liquefied waste will be pumped back into the bay, containing high amounts of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. Frenchman Bay already has significant toxic algae blooms each year- how will this increased nutrient load affect the health of the bay ecosystem?

Many links below – most recent articles can be found at the bottom of this page by scrolling down

Excellent article below by The Quietside Journal

Fish farming in Down East: Pay the fine, take the cannolis …

Map shows where salmon pens are proposed in Frenchman Bay (green boxes) just north of the Porcupine Islands

SOMESVILLE, Jan. 1, 2021 – Fire, ready, aim.

It’s the prevailing business model, some cynics say, for companies wishing to operate fish farms in Maine waters: Pollution? Whoops. I’ll just pay the fine.

It was a little over a year ago Cooke Aguaculture was fined $156,213 for 11 violations of its state permit. Cooke is the only sea-based salmon aquaculture firm in Maine, with pen farms in Washington and Hancock counties, as well as a hatchery on Gardner Lake in East Machias and a fish processing facility in Machiasport. It’s also a multi-billion-dollar company. A $156,213 fine is like a large tip at one of its company events.

“Clearly these miniscule fines are having precious little effect on Cooke’s illegal behavior, which is precisely why I have so little faith in fines administered by the Maine DEP,” said Lawrence Reichard, a Belfast journalist and environmentalist.

“In that same year, 2018, Cooke Aquaculture posted revenues of $2.8 billion, meaning the $156,123 fine assessed against Cooke Aquaculture by DEP amounted to a mere .006 percent of Cooke Aquaculture’s revenue for that year,” Reichard said.

Such benefit analysis is a reprise of the famous “Pinto memo” of 1968 when Ford Motor Company concluded it was cheaper to settle lawsuits over deaths from its exploding Pintos than to recall all the cars and fix the problem. “For companies with environmental issues, fines are simply a cost of doing business,” Reichard said.

Donald Eley, president of the Friends of Blue Hill Bay, said the fish farming industry is banking on weak state and local governments, enticing bureaucrats with the promise of jobs and property tax revenue.

The state of Maine is addicted to the promises of aqua farms “whether they come true or not,” said Eley. “They all claim they can meet the state guidelines … but who’s monitoring it?”

“It becomes a self-monitoring, self-regulated industry,” Eley said.

Since the slap on the wrist against Cooke, two huge salmon farming proposals are being debated here in Down East – one a land-based operation in Belfast and another in Frenchman Bay. In Jonesport, Kingfish Maine, which is owned by a Dutch aquaculture firm, announced plans last fall for a $110 million land-based farm where it hopes to produce 13 million or more pounds of yellowtail each year on a 94-acre site overlooking Chandler Bay.

“In Belfast, Nordic Aquafarms (see rendering) will pump 1,600 pounds of nitrogen a day into Belfast Bay, where pollution has already closed 4,093 acres to shellfishing,” Reichard said. “That’s 16 times the amount currently discharged on average by Belfast, a city of about 7,000. And that effluent will create algae blooms, and attract and feed sea lice, to the detriment of wild fish populations.”

Nordic said it is almost impossible for fish to escape from land-based fish farms, but 20,000 fish escaped from a land-based fish farm in Vagan, Norway, as recently as July 28, 2018. Escaped fish compete with wild fish for spawning grounds, destroy wild-fish spawn, and breed with and weaken wild fish stock, Reichard wrote in a letter to the Bangor Daily News.

“Their entire premise is based on no mistakes happening,” Reichard said. “And that’s extremely unrealistic.”

In late December, two groups – Upstream Watch and Friends of Harriet L. Hartley Conservation Area – began legal action to overturn decisions by the town of Belfast and the state granting Nordic the necessary permits. An excellent overview of that case appeared in the Penobscot Bay Pilot. https://www.penbaypilot.com/article/state-approval-belfast-salmon-farm-appealed-city-planning-board-oks-project/141976

Closer to MDI, the in-water fish farm proposed for the middle of Frenchman Bay by another Norwegian company has many locals alarmed. These are the modern-day Vikings, true to their tradition of seeking opportunities outside of resource-constrained Scandinavia. And what a prize Mount Desert Island must be! It even comes with its own fiord.

“I am terrified,” said Sarah Redmond (see photo), who runs an organic seaweed farm on Stave Island off Gouldsboro only about a mile northeast of the salmon farm proposed by American Aquaculture. She worried that her certification for organic products would be jeopardized if the water is polluted.

“It’s an absurd proposal,” Redmond said. “It’s a permit to pollute. It’s not possible to capture all the fish waste” as proposed by American Aquaculture. “Most of the waste is dissolved in the water.”

The Norwegian company proposed to deploy 30 pens, each 150 feet wide, in lease sites in the bay. The pens would support a projected annual production of 30,000 metric tons, or about 66 million pounds of the fish.

“Those 66 million fish would be raised in a plastic polymer bag sitting in the ocean just north of Bar Harbor,” wrote Kathleen Rybarz, president of Friends of Frenchman Bay, in a letter to the Portland Press Herald. “Raising may be too generous a word, rather, the fish will be swimming in circles in containers in the water. The cold clean waters of Maine get pumped in and water gets pumped out as the fish swim in circles. And that methodology leads to so many questions about the potential damage to the environment.

“What will the water pumped back into the bay be like? Will it affect our local marine animals and plants?,” wrote Rybarz, who also is chair of the selectmen in Lamoine. “Will the state have effective regulations in place to do no harm to the environment? How will the container be kept clean? How many jobs for locals will it really create?”

One of the problems cited by scientists on dumping any disruptive matter in Frenchman and Blue Hill bays, which are conjoined by the Union River, is that the two bodies of water flush very poorly. The Friends of Blue Hill Bay have been working for the past 20 years to understand the ecology of Blue Hill Bay, and its twin on the eastern side of MDI.

“The effluents from net-pen aquaculture would have little negative impact on the marine environment if the aquaculture sites were located in the open, well flushed, and vigorously mixing waters of the Gulf of Maine,” wrote Neal R. Pettigrew, oceanographer at the University of Maine. “However, the bays and estuaries of the Gulf of Maine are generally much more sensitive to aquaculture activities and caution needs to be exercised when instituting these activities in our sheltered waters.

“The addition of any fish pens would pose a great threat that dissolved oxygen in the lower water level would be overly depleted and algal blooms would occur in the upper water level, potentially introducing Red Tide to the Bay for the first time,” Pettigrew wrote.

“The extremely slow currents in Upper Blue Hill Bay would result in significant waste build up and the development of anaerobic bacterial mats under the fish pens and damage to the bottom dwelling community. The existing conditions and attendant risks appear to be so high that they should not be ignored.”

“Why is it in this area of Maine – an area that attracts millions of visitors a year? Whose interests are really being served?” Rybarz asked.

Threats to existing fisheries and water-based businesses may be a better launching pad to fight the fish farms because the state is sensitive to grievances from incumbent constituents. It’s folks like Sarah Redmond and Zach Piper of Hancock, a young lobsterman who now makes a living in Frenchman Bay.

“The areas this Norwegian-backed company is proposing to turn into industrial aquaculture with two 50-plus acre leases for large fish pens, is heavily fished by lobstermen and has been for years,” he wrote in a letter to Bangor Daily News. “I am not a fan of foreign corporations making their money at the expense of Maine people.”

American Aquaculture’s audacious proposal to site an industrial farm in the middle of one of Maine’s most prized bodies of water is like asking for trouble. But trouble is not foreign to its CEO, Mikael Roenes, who volunteered during an interview with Bill Trotter of the Bangor Daily News that he has a white-collar criminal past in Norway, and that he has spent time incarcerated because of it.

Roenes told Trotter he got into legal trouble more than a decade ago in Norway when he was working as a stockbroker and “made some promises I could not keep” to investors he had lined up in an attempt to acquire a Norwegian company.

He lost all his money, repaid his investors in full and eventually was convicted on charges he did not specify and spent two and a half years at a minimum-security prison, he said.

“I am very open about my past,” he said. “I accept full responsibility for my actions and have paid my debt to society.”

But did he take the cannolis?

https://theqsjournal.com/?fbclid=IwAR18Qs_WM7ZDskCWArTIOukVu2Iok1dbTn70WLcHlw-OaugpXVeqdWD4z9I

https://www.mdislander.com/maine-news/maritime-shorts-8

Info about the planned project begins about 13 minutes into this video below:

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/reports/2019/05/13/469730/american-aquaculture/

https://www.int-res.com/articles/aei2012/2/q002p267.pdf

  https://www.ft.com/content/8b73e21a-7cf8-11e7-ab01-a13271d1ee9c

https://www.maine.gov/dmr/aquaculture/forms/documents/Standard_Aquaculture_Guidance_Document_Applicant.docx.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3TK1RPbo3vuZlDlPZHevCbyHgU01P9Uzxs2ARfxyiX4DaFUxV_HiIvLYM

https://www.maine.gov/dmr/about/meeting-details.html?id=3144590

MOWI guide to industry for investors.   Explains why Norwegians are investing elsewhere.  https://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/1766f220-c83b-499a-a46e-3941577e038b

canadian government publicationhttps://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/publications/ssat-ets-eng.html

Bangor daily news articles10/16/2020 https://bangordailynews.com/2020/10/16/news/hancock/new-salmon-aquaculture-firm-to-buy-lobster-processing-plant-in-gouldsboro/
11/8/2020https://bangordailynews.com/2020/11/08/news/hancock/norwegian-firm-envisions-harvesting-66m-pounds-of-salmon-from-30-pens-in-frenchman-bay/

11/01/2020    https://bangordailynews.com/2020/11/01/opinion/contributors/aquaculture-growth-means-job-opportunities-in-maine/

Ellsworth American articles   A company with roots in Norway. 10/14/2020https://www.ellsworthamerican.com/maine-news/waterfront/frenchman-bay-eyed-for-salmon-cod-farm/

10/16/2020 follow-up article about Fair Lobster property acquisition.https://www.ellsworthamerican.com/maine-news/waterfront/maine-fair-trade-plant-eyed-for-aquaculture-venture/

1/8/2020https://www.ellsworthamerican.com/maine-news/waterfront/aquaculture-census-shows-sales-are-up/

WVII Story: https://www.foxbangor.com/news/item/town-of-gouldsboro-responds-to-proposed-salmon-aquafarm/

Maine Biz: https://www.mainebiz.biz/article/fishery-group-pans-proposed-salmon-farm-off-gouldsboro

WVOM:https://www.wvomfm.com/episode/ghrt-rewind-01-20-pmfhfs-crystal-canney-1300/

https://www.pressherald.com/2021/01/29/gouldsboro-salmon-farm-proposal-prompts-call-for-review-of-state-licensing-rules/

(“Experimental” is all we can say about this next article) https://www.fishfarmingexpert.com/article/cermaq-begins-semi-closed-containment-trial-in-canada/

Ellsworth American 2/3/21

Salmon Farm Sparks Opposition

By Letitia Baldwin GOULDSBORO — Opposition is mounting to a large scale salmon farm in Frenchman Bay before the project’s backers have formally submitted an application to locate roughly 30 net pens at two sites north of Bald Rock and The Hop islands. In a related move, a citizens group is calling for the Maine Department of Marine Resources to toughen its rules regarding aquaculture leases that range widely from mussel to oyster cultivation in coastal Maine. Applications for these enterprises have jumped threefold in just five years. Early this week, American Aquafarms’ President and CEO Mikael Roenes still had not filed a DMR application for his company’s proposed ocean farm to raise Atlantic salmon and possibly cod in the northern-northwestern section of Frenchman Bay.From Norway’s southern coastal town of Grimstad, Roenes early last fall outlined his plan to raise the fish in floating net pens, fitted with polymer-membrane cloth sacks in which fish waste (feces and feed) collects at the bottom. The waste is pumped to and passes through an attached filtration unit before being discharged at sufficient depth into the sea. As part of its plan, American Aquafarms signed a purchase agreement with New Bedford, Mass.-based East Coast Seafood Group to acquire its seafood-processing plant in Gouldsboro’s Prospect Harbor village. The 100,000-square-foot Maine Fair Trade facility and its wharf would become the base from which the fish farm’s barges and other craft would embark to tend the Frenchman Bay ocean pens. The harvested fish would be processed on site. The existing warehouse would be converted into a hatchery for producing juvenile salmon and cod to replenish harvested fish. For over a century, the Prospect Harbor plant has processed seafood — whether sardines, lobster or scallops — and has been a major source of year-round jobs for eastern Hancock County and western Washington County residents. In 2020, Maine Fair Trade was Hancock County’s 25th largest employer with a workforce in the 1-500 range, according to Maine Department of Labor statistics. Earlier this week, East Coast Seafood Group declined to say whether the Maine Fair Trade property had been sold or when the sale might occur. Nor would company officials say why East Coast Seafood no longer wants to process lobster and produce value added products at the facility. In an unsigned statement released Monday, the company said it had made additional investments last year at its state-of-the-art processing facility in New Bedford, Mass. In 2021, the company aims to sell more than 40 million pounds of seafood products worldwide.As one of the world’s top live-lobster buyers, East Coast Seafood Group plans to remain a major player in the Maine lobster market, noting its $40 million investment to date in the industry. They call lobster fishing critical to the Maine economy, but touted aquaculture as a potentially stable, sustainable industry for Maine fishing communities such as Gouldsboro. They say American Aquafarms “would provide significant employment opportunities over the long term, ultimately creating increased job figures for Gouldsboro and the surrounding area.”“Aquaculture jobs often provide technically advanced operations, requiring enhanced labor training and improved skill sets, expanded wage rates and, notably, year round employment where seasonality is the norm.” Since March of 2020, American Aquafarms has worked with Maine & Company President and CEO Peter DelGreco to forge contacts in Maine and scope out potential sites for its aquaculture venture. Last spring, Roenes contacted Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Director Andrea Smith about qualifying for income tax credits and sales tax exemptions granted to businesses in certain industries under Maine’s Pine Tree Development Zone (PTZD).In an April 6, 2020, letter to Smith, Roenes estimated 60 full-time salaried jobs would be created. “Please be assured that our economic development plan would not occur within the state of Maine but for the availability of PTZD benefits,” the letter stated. In Maine at present, Canada’s Cooke Aquaculture runs the state’s sole sea-based salmon farm. Its two dozen ocean pen sites are located in Cobscook and Machias bays and other protected inlets in Washington County. After unveiling its plan publicly in Gouldsboro Oct. 16, American Aquafarms’ proposed Frenchman Bay operation sparked immediate alarm and staunch opposition from Hancock residents who objected to the proposed operation’s scale in a water body where half a dozen towns’ lobster fishermen compete for prime sea floor to lay their traps. The opponents pointed out several dozen small-scale farms cultivate mussels, oysters and seaweed there too. Come summer, all size and form of recreational craft use the bay from sailboats and kayakers to outboard boats and sightseeing vessels.“ This is simply a matter of the wrong place, the wrong technology and the wrong people,” Hancock resident James Paterson said in a Jan. 18 press release. He also noted American Aquafarms’ proximity to Acadia National Park. “This project represents the industrialization of a pristine bay in the shadow of Acadia National Park. It is a totally inappropriate place for this kind of development — it’s like putting a large factory at the foot of Cadillac Mountain.” Hancock resident Ted O’Meara, a public affairs consultant working with the Frenchman Bay group, questioned Roenes’ credibility, referring to 2008 stories in the Norwegian business journal Financsavisen detailing the Grimstad businessman’s four year prison sentence on fraud related charges. In the decade since serving 2.5 years in prison, Roenes founded an investment company, Global AS, and was involved in the 2019 start-up of Norcod, a commercial-scale cod farm, whose ocean pens are located north of Norway’s western port city of Trondheim. The company expected to harvest its first fish this June or earlier, according to news reports. Besides Friends of Frenchman Bay, Portland-based Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation also is opposing the Frenchman Bay venture. The coalition works with lobstermen and small aquaculturists to protect coastal Maine from industrialized aquaculture. Under current state regulations, the group’s executive director, Crystal Canney, warns American Aquafarms potentially could expand its proposed leases from 110 to 1,000 acres. In a related move, Rep. Robert Alley (D-Beals) has drafted legislation that would cap the total size of any one aquaculture application and prohibit the transfer of leases without public hearings.“ This is simply a matter of the wrong place, the wrong technology and the wrong people.”– James Paterson. American Aquafarms is proposing to spend from $50 million to $100 million to remodel the Maine Fair Trade seafood processing facility in Prospect Harbor. The waterfront facility also would serve as a base to service thirty 150-foot net pens for raising salmon and possibly cod in Frenchman Bay. The operation eventually could produce as much as 66 million tons of fish.

Ellsworth American week of 2/25/21

BY LETITIA BALDWIN GOULDSBORO ? Opposition is mounting to a large-scale salmon farm in Frenchman Bay before the project’s backers have formally submitted an application to locate roughly 30 net pens at two sites north of Bald Rock and the Hop islands. In a related move, a citizens group is calling for the Maine Department of Marine Resources to toughen its rules regarding aquaculture leases that range widely from mussel to oyster cultivation in coastal Maine. Applications for these enterprises have jumped threefold in just five years. In early February, American Aquafarms’ President and CEO Mikael Roenes still had not filed a DMR application for his company’s proposed ocean farm to raise Atlantic salmon and possibly cod in the northern-northwestern section of Frenchman Bay.From Norway’s southern coastal town of Grimstad, Roenes early last fall outlined his plan to raise the fish in floating net pens, fitted with polymer-membrane cloth sacks in which fish waste (feces and feed) collects at the bottom. The waste is pumped to and passes through an attached filtration unit before being discharged at sufficient depth into the sea.As part of its plan, American Aquafarms signed a purchase agreement with New Bedford, Mass.-based East Coast Seafood Group to acquire its seafood processing plant in Gouldsboro’s Prospect Harbor village. The 100,000-square-foot Maine Fair Trade facility and its wharf would become the base from which the fish farm’s barges and other craft would embark to tend the Frenchman Bay ocean pens. The harvested fish would be processed on site. The existing warehouse would be converted into a hatchery for producing juvenile salmon and cod to replenish harvested fish. For over a century, the Prospect Harbor plant has processed seafood ? whether sardines, lobster or scallops ? and has been a major source of yearround jobs for eastern Hancock County and western Washington County residents.In 2020, Maine Fair Trade was Hancock County’s 25th largest employer with a workforce in the 1-500 range, according to Maine Department of Labor statistics.Earlier this week, East Coast Seafood Group declined to say whether the Maine Fair Trade property had been sold or when the sale might occur. Nor would company officials say why East Coast Seafood no longer wants to process lobster and produce value-added products at the facility.In an unsigned statement released Feb. 1, the company said it had made additional investments last year at its stateof- the-art processing facility in New Bedford, Mass. In 2021, the company aims to sell more than 40 million pounds of seafood products worldwide.As one of the world’s top livelobster buyers, East Coast Seafood Group plans to remain a major player in the Maine lobster market, noting its $40 million investment to date in the industry. They call lobster fishing critical to the Maine economy, but touted aquaculture as a potentially stable, sustainable industry for Maine fishing communities such as Gouldsboro. They say American Aquafarms “would provide significant employment opportunities over the long term, ultimately creating increased job figures for Gouldsboro and the surrounding area.Aquaculture jobs often provide technically advanced operations, requiring enhanced labor training and improved skill sets, expanded wage rates and, notably, year-round employment where seasonality is the norm.”Since March of 2020, American Aquafarms has worked with Maine & Company President and CEO Peter DelGreco to forge contacts in Maine and scope out potential sites for its aquaculture venture. Last spring, Roenes contacted Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Director Andrea Smith about qualifying for income tax credits and sales tax exemptions granted to businesses in certain industries under Maine’s Pine Tree Development Zone (PTZD).In an April 6, 2020, letter to Smith, Roenes estimated 60 fulltime salaried jobs would be created. “Please be assured that our economic development plan would not occur within the state of Maine but for the availability of PTZD benefits,” the letter stated.In Maine at present, Canada’s Cooke Aquaculture runs the state’s sole sea-based salmon farm. Its two dozen ocean pen sites are located in Cobscook and Machias bays and other protected inlets in Washington County.After unveiling its plan publicly in Gouldsboro Oct. 16, American Aquafarms’ proposed Frenchman Bay operation sparked immediate alarm and staunch opposition from Hancock residents who objected to the proposed operation’s scale in awaterbody where half a dozen towns’ lobster fishermen compete for prime sea floor to lay their traps.The opponents pointed out several dozen small-scale farms cultivate mussels, oysters and seaweed there too. Come summer, all size and form of recreational craft use the bay from sailboats and kayakers to outboard boats and sightseeing vessels.A ferry also provides seasonal passenger service between Winter Harbor and Bar Harbor.”This is simply a matter of the wrong place, the wrong technology and the wrong people,” Hancock resident James Paterson said in a Jan. 18 press release. He also noted American Aquafarms’ proximity to Acadia National Park. “This project represents the industrialization of a pristine bay in the shadow of Acadia National Park. It is a totally inappropriate place for this kind of development ? it’s like putting a large factory at the foot of Cadillac Mountain.”Hancock resident Ted O’Meara, a public affairs consultant working with the Frenchman Bay group, questioned Roenes’ credibility, referring to 2008 stories in the Norwegian business journal Financsavisen detailing the Grimstad businessman’s fouryear prison sentence on fraudrelated charges.In the decade since serving 2.5 years in prison, Roenes founded an investment company, Global AS, and co-founded Norcod, a commercial-scale cod farm, whose ocean pens are located north of Norway’s western port city of Trondheim. The company expected to harvest its first fish this June or earlier, according to news reports.Besides Friends of Frenchman Bay, Portland-based Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation also opposes the Frenchman Bay venture. The coalition works with lobstermen and small aquaculturists to protect coastal Maine from industrialized aquaculture.Under current state regulations, the group’s executive director, Crystal Canney, warns American Aquafarms potentially could expand its proposed leases from 110 to 1,000 acres. In a related move, Rep. Robert Alley (D-Beals) has drafted legislation that would cap the total size of any one aquaculture application and prohibit the transfer of leases without public hearings.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/03/08/fish-farming-is-feeding-the-globe-whats-the-cost-for-locals

https://www.mainepublic.org/post/closed-pen-salmon-farms-proposed-frenchman-bay

” will be the largest in the world” (below)

https://www.intrafish.com/technology/us-closed-containment-salmon-farming-startup-signs-deal-for-sludge-treatment-plants/2-1-990234

https://www.intrafish.com/salmon/closed-containment-salmon-farming-startup-says-us-project-could-launch-next-year/2-1-978302?fbclid=IwAR2bWfdCKeG5HhI9gfA1NVd5J6VDaNpHVA4a30qOqEB3a_NrjDOGR9HNdgM

https://www.pressherald.com/2021/04/13/sea-farmers-say-bill-to-prevent-large-scale-aquaculture-could-hurt-entire-industry/

https://www.pressherald.com/2021/04/13/with-aquaculture-booming-its-time-to-talk-about-its-future-in-maine/?fbclid=IwAR10DJkEpAy4XxDU0ZM2zv2Bt53ivIphVAKpHjTA4DVMtUMnsZ1D811NcV4

https://www.mainebiz.biz/article/industrial-salmon-farm-proposal-for-frenchman-bay-draws-local-fire?fbclid=IwAR1O-0eKEA7-Q0BSpkb3UDDC7Qw1tdSxtfDCFbxGlhRAf18ilZfE70rK9Qk

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-15/tasman-peninsula-bays-filled-with-algae-near-tassal-salmon-pens/11796332

Ellsworth American 5/12/21

American Aquafarms’ discharge estimates spark questions

By Letitia Baldwin GOULDSBORO — Hancock County residents late last week got an abstract picture of how American Aquafarms would draw and discharge sea water and dispose of waste from its proposed operation in Frenchman Bay.But when citizens asked, the Norwegian-backed company failed to specify by whom and exactly where in the world the closed-pen technology is being used in real time commercially to grow and successfully harvest Atlantic salmon for the global market.At a three hour-plus online public meeting last week,American Aquafarms Vice President Eirik Jors, Portland- headquartered Ransom Consulting Engineers and Scientists’ Senior Project Manager Elizabeth Ransom and civil engineer and computer modeler Nathan Dill provided a detailed blueprint showing how American Aquafarms would discharge a total of 2 billion gallons of circulated water (23,775 gallons per second) daily from the two 15-pen sites northwest of Long Porcupine Island and northeast of Bald Rock Ledge in Frenchman Bay. Last fall, Ransom did extensive manual and remote sensor testing in Frenchman Bay, which is about 15 miles long and 7 miles wide, to gauge the potential environmental impacts of the proposed salmon farm’s use and release of seawater there to raise as much as 66 million pounds of Atlantic salmon annually. Computer modeling and statistical techniques were used to analyze the hydrologic data and predict outcomes inshore and in distant reaches of the bay.Ben Walter owns Acadia Oceanside Meadows Inn in the Gouldsboro village of Corea. He was among 171 people who attended the meeting in a webinar format in which only the meeting hosts’ faces were visible. Acadia National Park, Friends of Acadia, Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Downeast Salmon Federal Federation, Friends of Frenchman Bay, Friends of Eastern Bay, Friends of Schoodic Peninsula and Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation were represented.“Are your numbers essentially best guesses? Why can’t you move your pens offshore?” Walter asked. “It seems you are experimenting with the bay and the lives in our community.”“I think it is naïve to believe that there is not going to be any biological change in the bay,” Ann Sharpe remarked. “Just the mass of fish in an enclosed system. I don’t see how there isn’t going to be a temperature change.”The May 6 public meeting was held by American Aquafarms, as the company is required to do by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in light of its impending Maine wastewater discharge permit application.Jors said Norway’s Blue Ocean Technology designed the Frenchman Bay project’s wastewater treatment system from technology refined through fin fish aquaculture over many years. He noted the system’s sediment trap captures 90 percent of the fish waste consisting of feces and residual nutrients.He explained the waste is pumped up to and passes through a central waste bin on a barge before being transported to the mainland. The material is recycled into biproducts such as biogas and fertilizer. He added that the salmon feed is made from fish meal and fish and plant oils and does not contain any hormones, antibiotics, palm oil, the chemical PCB or genetically modified foods (GMOs).In the freshwater hatchery, which American Aquafarms would construct at Maine Fair Trade’s seafood processing complex in Prospect Harbor, Jors said salmon eggs would be decontaminated and vaccinated for viral and bacterial infections to ensure the juvenile “fish are healthy and minimize disease” before being transferred to the ocean pens.In addition, Jors said American Aquafarms’ proposed Eco-cages are equipped with a robotic device for systematically cleaning the pens. Cleaning agents as well as medications for treating the farmed salmon must be listed in the DEP permit. Should any illnesses arise, the Frenchman Bay farm and a licensed veterinarian would be required to jointly formulate a treatment plan and seek authorization from state authorities.Speaking to the daily discharge of 2 billion gallons of seawater, Dill and Ransom staff studied the filtered water’s dispersal, dilution and drift over time in waters surrounding the proposed 60-acre fish farm and the entire bay. They estimated the 2 billion gallons discharged daily would be diluted a dozen times in Frenchman Bay. They also calculated the amount of nitrogen and other elements released as part of the discharge. In the case of nitrogen, they determined the amount was 2,300 pounds — far below the permitted volume under state law.“Without degrading the water quality, you could add 13,000 pounds of nitrogen and that would bring you right to that threshold,” Dill said, noting the 2,300 pounds of nitrogen anticipated. “So, we are well below the 20 percent capacity threshold.”Holly Faubel of Belfast took issue with Dill’s estimate, saying the amount does not include the nitrogen that the fish release naturally in liquid form through their gills. She also questioned the origin of American Aquafarms’ broodstock and whether it was genetically modified.Elizabeth Ransom responded to both questions, saying the Maine Department of Marine Resources requires the fish farm’s broodstock to match the genetic code of species found off the Maine coast. On the issue of nitrogen, she told Faubel she was “spot-on that nitrogen certainly is present in liquid form. What you are going to see is the nitrogen levels are quite low and discharged at a level that’s not going to do any harm.”DEP Deputy Commissioner David Madore told The American earlier this week that American Aquafarms is expected to submit its wastewater discharge permit application in late May. Once that happens, the public has up to 20 days to request in writing that a public hearing be held. Holding a hearing is discretionary. Such requests should be made within the prescribed time frame to the Division of Water Resource Regulation, Department of Environmental Protection, State House Station #17, Augusta, ME 04333. For more info on the regulatory process, call 287-3901.A copy then will be available for the public’s review at the Gouldsboro town office. Madore said the agency must determine whether the application is complete before deciding whether to hold a public hearing.

https://www.wmtw.com/article/proposed-salmon-farm-highlights-competing-visions-for-future-of-maine-coast/36533775?fbclid=IwAR1vwh1k2FzfDwM-X7eo9maEc-iEkzHZWtjYj2nU_pVUVOR_me1C1f4zixg

https://www.foxbangor.com/news/item/concerns-over-proposed-salmon-farms-in-frenchman-bay/?fbclid=IwAR0Fz68mc33UeHeeCjeJsLtS78BPcswWGWtEf-_sa6wHCXnnVLw4kDt3_FE

Ellsworth American Article 6/22/21
(Correction; Group pictured is Friends of Schoodic Penninsula, not FFB)
Bar Harbor to try to intervene on American Aquafarms lease. Sorry that they were mis-identified as Friends of Frenchman Bay, when they were Friends of Schoodic Peninsula.
By Ethan Genter BAR HARBOR — As a controversial proposed salmon farm goes through the state lease process, Bar Harbor will likely be the first in line to ask for “intervenor status.”
The Town Council voted unanimously last week to apply to be an intervenor with the state Department of Marine Resources (DMR) on the American Aquafarms salmon farm project, which is proposed to be in the waters of Frenchman Bay off Bar Harbor, though it is technically in the jurisdiction of Gouldsboro.
The Norwegian-backed company has applied to grow salmon at two 60-acre, 15-pen sites northwest of Long Porcupine Island and northeast of Bald Rock Ledge in Frenchman Bay, sparking concerns among local conservationists and fishermen.
If the town is granted intervenor status, it would be allowed to provide testimony at a public hearing on the lease. In some cases, intervenors may also comment on draft decisions.
No other entity has applied for intervenor status yet, said Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for DMR.
The council’s decision to pursue intervenor status took only a few minutes with little discussion. The council had previously sat down with James Hanscom, a Bar Harbor lobsterman and member of the Lobster Zone B Council, and heard his concerns about the project. Before last week’s meeting, Hanscom delivered a statement of opposition on the project to council member Valerie Peacock.
In the statement, 21 Bar Harbor fishermen said they were against the project because it could result in the loss of prime fishing ground, increased pressure on the adjacent fishing grounds, potential loss of gear from service vessels, navigational conflicts, potential water pollution, disturbance to the ocean
bottom and a reduced chance that historical fisheries come back to the area.
“This is not the place for that,” Hanscom said in an interview. “Frenchman’s Bay was never meant to be industrialized on that type of scale.”
Several bills have tried to make it harder for the project to get through the lease process, but they have been defeated after vehement pushback from the aquaculture industry, who said the measures would cripple smaller and medium sized operations as well.
Hanscom was working on getting the rest of the town’s fishing fleet to sign on and was also trying to garner support from communities across the bay.
The lobsterman worried that, if approved, American Aquafarms would also hurt the environment, tourism and tarnish the island’s famous views.
“It just doesn’t fit,” Hanscom said. “It doesn’t belong here.”
A scoping session on the project has been scheduled for June 23, but a public hearing has not been set.
Members of the group Friends of Frenchman Bay gathered June 18 during a visit to Acadia by Secretary of the Department of the Interior Deb Haaland to show their opposition to American Aquafarms’ plan to raise Atlantic salmon in the bay. The town of Bar Harbor would like to be an intervenor in the application process.
ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY REBECCA ALLE