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Updated: July 8, 2020

Dutch company moves to permitting for Jonesport aquaculture site

Courtesy / Kingfish Maine Seen here is Kingfish Maine’s proposed site for a land-based aquaculture operation in Jonesport.

Kingfish Maine, a Dutch land-based aquaculture company, plans to apply for its first permit this month to build a facility in Jonesport.

This week, Kingfish Maine notified residents and abutters of its 9 Dun Garvin Road property that the company will submit its Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit application to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection within the next month, according to a news release.

The company's parent has already secured a purchase agreement on the site.

Kingfish Maine’s recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility is projected to produce 6,000 to 8,000 metric tons of yellowtail kingfish annually upon completion. 

The permit is one of the most critical permits for operation of the new facility. Kingfish Maine will discuss the permitting application at a public meeting on July 21 at 6 p.m. at the Jonesport Fire Station, following the state’s social distancing guidelines. 

The meeting will also be available online via Zoom. Click here for the URL.

“Our team has been actively engaged with Jonesport residents for the last 18 months, outlining  our plans and identifying any concerns residents and lobstermen may have,” Megan Sorby, Kingfish Maine’s operations manager, said in the release.

“Two areas of interest we’ve discussed are the intake and discharge pipes as well as the temperature of the water we release back into Chandler Bay. We are confident this application addresses those concerns in a matter that will please everyone who lives and fishes in this area.”

Kingfish Maine is owned by the Kingfish Co., which operates a land-based recirculating aquaculture system under the name Kingfish Zeeland in the Netherlands. 

That company, headed by CEO Ohad Maiman, produces antibiotic-free Dutch yellowtail in the province of Zeeland and is recognized as an industry leader, with Aquaculture Stewardship Council and Best Aquaculture Practices certifications.

Last November, Kingfish Zeeland announced plans for a proposed $110 million land-based aquaculture facility in Jonesport, and in December secured funding for developing it.

The facility is proposed to be near Chandler Bay on Route 187.

Seen here are yellowtail kingfish produced at Kingfish Zeeland facility in the Netherlands. The company is partnering with the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin to build fish broodstock.

The permit evaluates the facility’s discharge to ensure that Kingfish Maine will maintain the water quality of the area based on the location of the discharge point and the make-up of the effluent water.

“Our Maine facility will be designed with the same advanced technology we use at our Kingfish Zeeland facility, which operates in a nature reserve,” Maiman said in the release. “We are investing in an advanced filtration and heat exchange system which will allow us to reclaim heat from the water,  therefore preventing temperature rise in the bay. Our designers and engineers listened to the concerns of residents and are also minimizing the pipe footprint to just below half a mile.”

The permit application outlines Kingfish Maine’s solids and nutrient filtration system as well as its heat recovery process.

Kingfish Maine has engaged the University of Maine to conduct an economic impact study for Jonesport and the region. Preliminary data from the study shows a potential value-added, multiplier impact of $46 million to the region. Kingfish Maine is expected to employ 70 full-time workers when at full production.

Kingfish Maine has been developing its plan for the Jonesport facility over the last 18 months. 

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