Save Frenchman Bay From Monster Fish Farms
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Frenchman Bay in Hancock County, Maine, supports fishermen, lobstermen, and small-scale shellfish and kelp aquaculture farmers, and is a home to many families. The bay provides habitat for many environmentally and economically important species, including eelgrass, sea scallops, blue mussels, and lobster.
Its surrounding landscapes, including Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, and the Schoodic Peninsula, draw millions of tourists to the area each year, who bring $380 million in revenue to the state annually.
Unfortunately, all of this is under threat from the prospect of developing monster fish farms in the area.
In 2021, a Norwegian-based company called American Aquafarms proposed to the state to build an enormous salmon farm that would have covered a surface area the size of 15 football fields in Frenchman Bay, just half a mile offshore of Acadia National Park. This project would be one of the largest ocean-pen salmon farms in the world and would release 4.1 billion gallons of polluted wastewater into the bay every day. It would also bring air, light, and noise pollution to the area.
Thankfully, following the rejection of this project’s permit by the state, legislators passed a new bill in June 2023 that establishes limits on stocking density for future farms, making it harder for developers to build monster fish farms in Maine’s waters in the future.
Oceana and our partners will continue to fight to ensure that projects like this never move forward in order to protect Maine’s clean waters, and the widlife, families, and businesses that depend on them.
June 23, 2023
New Law in Maine Sets Density Limits for Future Salmon Farms
Following campaigning by Oceana and our allies, the U.S. state of Maine passed a law that establishes limits on stocking density for new marine salmon farms, making it harder for developers to build monster aquaculture operations in the state’s waters. This new law follows a proposal by Norwegian-based company American Aquafarms in 2021 to build an extremely large salmon farm in Frenchman Bay, just half a mile offshore of Acadia National Park. Stocking density — the amount of fish by weight packed into an area — is a key metric of salmon and other marine finfish aquaculture. Higher stocking densities are often associated with diminished fish health and water quality. Ocean-based fish farms are inherently risky as they often also use vast amounts of pesticides and chemicals to prevent disease and parasites, which can impact the surrounding marine ecosystems.
U.S. State of Maine’s Coastal Waters Temporarily Protected from Monster Fish Farm
Following campaigning by Oceana and our allies, the U.S. state of Maine’s coastal waters were protected from a monster fish farm proposal. Maine’s government rejected the Norwegian-based company American Aquafarms’ permit, halting construction for at least a few years. The proposal, located in Frenchman Bay near the shoreline of Acadia National Park, would be the largest ocean-pen salmon farm in North America. If built, it would pollute Maine’s pristine waters and marine ecosystem with more than 4 billion gallons of untreated wastewater every day. This area draws in millions of tourists each year, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the state annually. The proposed fish farm would threaten the economy and those who rely on the bay for food, jobs, and a cherished way of life. Oceana is continuing to campaign for permanent protection for Frenchman Bay and Maine’s coastal waters.
News & Reports
Around the Web
June 26, 2023
Source: Seafood Source
May 23, 2023
Source: Fish Farming Expert
April 25, 2022
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