Maine Aquaculture - Oceana USA

Maine Aquaculture

Save Frenchman Bay From Monster Fish Farms



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.


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