September 6, 2018

Bucksport on its way to becoming a seafood hub

Courtesy / John Gutwin of Pepperchrome
Courtesy / John Gutwin of Pepperchrome
A rendering of Whole Oceans' planned land-based aquafarm in Bucksport. Several other seafood businesses have announced plans to locate their operations in Bucksport, including two seafood-processing facilities.

In addition to the Portland-based company that's planning to build initially a $75 million land-based aquafarm to raise Atlantic salmon in Bucksport, two seafood-processing facilities are planning to open there as well.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Pemaquid Mussel Farms of Damariscotta expects to open a mussel-bagging operation late this month, and Greenhead Lobster of Stonington expects to break ground on a processing center by October. Both plan to be at Buckstown Heritage Park and could together result in nearly 60 jobs, Bucksport Economic Development Director Richard Rotella told the newspaper.

According to its website, Pemaquid Mussel Farms was formed in 2007 for the purpose of growing high-quality, raft-cultured mussels along the coast of Maine using sustainable and innovative aquaculture techniques.

Greenhead Lobster owner Hugh Reynolds started his live-lobster dealership in 1997. In 2015, he told Mainebiz the business is one of the last in Maine to have tidal lobster pounds that store lobsters for the winter. The business also has a state-of-the-art holding facility with modern pumps and refrigeration technology, he said.

Two other seafood firms are already located at Buckstown Heritage Park — Waterworld II and Central Maine Cold Storage.

Waterworld II, established in 2007 by Laurie Seekins, processes crab, shrimp, clams and lobster and serves customers locally and nationally.

According to Central Maine Cold Storage's website, its processing entity, Coastal Maine Seafood Custom Freezing, offers state-of-the-art custom freezing, storage, packaging and shipping for food-grade seafood.

Bucksport's Buckstown Heritage Park is a 63-acre industrial park located just off of Route 1 on Route 46, and provides easy access to Bangor, Ellsworth and Belfast. The park is fitted up with town water, town sewer, three-phase power, a business assistance program and free land for qualifying businesses.

Whole Oceans, of Portland, announced its acquisition of a majority of the former Verso Mill site in Bucksport, in February. Since that time the company has worked closely with stakeholders in the Penobscot watershed, the Maine regulatory community and the town of Bucksport. Pre-construction activities in Bucksport remain on-track to begin in 2018, the company has said.

Whole Oceans CEO Rob Piasio has said the Bucksport land-based salmon farm intends to capture at least 10% of the U.S. salmon market.


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