Plan for salmon farms near Acadia National Park questioned

March 11, 2021 GMT

BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — A Norwegian investor’s plan to establish two salmon farms across from Acadia National Park is meeting with resistance from local residents.

American Aquafarms, owned by Mikael Roenes, has filed an application to operate two 60-acre (24-hectare) salmon farms in Frenchman Bay. He told Maine Public his company would operate from a former sardine cannery in Gouldsboro that is located across the bay from Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

Roenes said his farm could grow as much as 66 million pounds (30 million kilograms) of salmon per year in closed pens located in the middle of the bay. He characterized the project as a chance to bring “the cutting edge of ocean-based aquaculture” to Maine.

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But some locals, including members of nonprofit group Friends of Frenchman Bay as well as some aquaculturists and lobstermen, are skeptical of the project. Sarah Redmond, owner of kelp farm Springtide Seaweed, said the location isn’t appropriate for an industrial-scale fish farm.

The project would need approval from the Maine Department of Marine Resources and Maine Department of Environmental Protection.