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January 16, 2012 | last updated January 16, 2012 11:01 am

Tropical-fish raising facility proposed for Augusta

Joseph Sutton, co-owner of classified publication Uncle Henry's, is looking to establish an aquaculture operation in Augusta to raise tropical fish. Sutton has talked to city officials about his plan but has not yet filed an application.

The indoor breeding operation would house 200-400 tanks to raise tropical fish that would be sold to pet stores, according to the Kennebec Journal. Sutton also plans to process mussels and possibly clams. He would build a new facility behind Uncle Henry's headquarters for the operation. Though the city hasn't received an application yet, the planning board already reviewed the location's zoning and has recommended the city amend its land use ordinance to add aquaculture to all zones where agriculture is allowed. Agriculture is currently allowed in the zone surrounding the proposed location; however, shellfish processing would not be permitted without further zoning changes.

Tropical fish are already raised in Maine, at Sea and Reef Aquaculture in Franklin. And another aquaculture operation in the state was recently proposed. Last week, John der Kinderen proposed a greenhouse operation in Windham that would also include raising coldwater fish to sell to food distributors.

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