GOULDSBORO – Fishermen and residents aren’t happy with a potential salmon farm in Frenchman Bay.
Trouble may be on its way for fishermen and residents of the Hancock County town of Gouldsboro.
A proposed salmon farm is targeted for two sites in Frenchman Bay.
“There is a potential for them to have 110 acres in Frenchman’s Bay. With that comes an opportunity to come back with 1000 acres, and that’s how the rules and regulations are,” said Crystal Canney, executive director of Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation (PMFHF).
Canney said local lobstermen and the Gouldsboro community are not on board with this project. Together, they hope to protect the environment from industrial fish farming.
“This project is like building a big factory in the middle of the bay. It is putting huge pens, about 30 pens, 150-feet in diameter in two very key sections of the base,” said Ted O’Meara, Hancock homeowner.
The project will be similar to the Nordic Aqua farm project in Belfast; however, this will be a sea-based fish farming site.
O’Meara said the sea pens are becoming less popular due to fish escapes, diseases and waste carried into the main fish population.
“This project and the potential impact it can have on the lobster fishery and other places in the bay is really significant. This is not something we should be talking about lightly. This is not an appropriate place for this kind of industrial development,” said O’Meara.
Local businesses are concerned about the future of their fishery business and asking, ‘why Frenchman Bay?’
“Maine has great purity of its coastline, and Maine is 24 hours away from large markets in the northeast,” said Jon Lewis of PMFHF.
Attempts to contact American Aquaculture for comment were unsuccessful.
As of now, it’s early in the decision process while the project is reviewed by state and local agencies.