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June 28, 2021

Dutch aquaculture company gets DEP permit for Jonesport facility

COURTESY / KINGFISH ZEELAND Kingfish Zeeland, whose Netherlands aquaculture facility is shown here, has received a Maine DEP permit to build a similar facility in Jonesport.

Kingfish Maine, a Dutch operator of land-based aquaculture systems, has received a critical green light from the Department of Environmental Protection to build a facility in Jonesport.

The state agency approved the company’s application for a Maine Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, according to a news release Monday.

Kingfish Maine is owned by the Kingfish Co., which operates a land-based recirculating aquaculture system under the name Kingfish Zeeland in the Netherlands. In November 2019, Kingfish Zeeland announced plans for a proposed $110 million land-based aquaculture facility in Jonesport, and since then has secured funding for the plant.

The recirculating aquaculture system facility is projected to produce 6,000 to 8,000 metric tons of yellowtail kingfish annually upon completion. The plant is proposed to be near Chandler Bay on Route 187.

In the Netherlands, Kingfish Zeeland has received a variety of sustainable practice certifications there for its production of kingfish, according to the release.

The Maine subsidiary will use the same technology to minimize the effect of wastewater, the company said. The DEP permit is based on the facility’s ability to maintain the water quality of the area, based on the location of the wastewater’s make-up and discharge point.

“We are pleased the Maine DEP has approved the MEPDES permit, confirming our commitment to uphold the water quality of Chandler Bay,” said Megan Sorby, Kingfish Maine’s operations manager.

“For two years, we’ve worked very closely with the town of Jonesport and those who use Chandler Bay to address their questions. This is a major milestone for Kingfish Maine and we look forward to our continued work with the community.”

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June 29, 2021
Land-based recycling aquaculture is definitely the best way to go. There are really good aspects of the Kingfish project in Jonesport. They will be using a clever heat pump system to discharge 22 million gallons of transferred heat from their warm production tanks which is a great idea. However, the 6 million gallons of production water (what the fish swim in) is still a problem. DEP has noted its discharge will degrade the water quality quite significantly in the area. And since yellowtail (Kingfish) are carriers of IPNV (infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus) and these are unvaccinated fish that is highly problematic. This is a significant issue for the baitfish (like herring) sea-run trout, stripers, halibut and wild salmon. So there is still some work to be done to design in a zero effluent solution for just that portion of their effluent stream. I really look forward to having yellowtail grown out in Maine on land in a manner that doesn't degrade the ocean environment.
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