A bad fit for Maine?

I am the wife of a fourth-generation fisherman whose livelihood is threatened by a recent decision to permit a large open-RAS industrial-scale aquaculture company to operate in Chandler Bay. The aquaculture industry poses risks to the future of lobstering in our community. I’m concerned with the encroachment of aquaculture in our waters and question how the industry will affect the future of coastal Maine communities.

The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has determined that the aquaculture industry is good for “economic development and jobs.” Our municipality applied this reasoning as a condition while recently reviewing a permit for an industrial-scale aquaculture facility in our town. The application of the economic/job criteria can be the cause for lesser stringent standards for shoreland zoning and water quality to be applied, thus allowing discharge to be flushed into our Chandler Bay. The DECD’s reasoning could prove to be detrimental to communities in ways we cannot predict.

Lincoln Millstein, a 2022 Yankee Quill award recipient and a former Hearst executive at Acadia National Park, founded the Quiet Side Journal (QSJ) which can be accessed online at https://theqsjournal.substack.com. Mr. Millstein has published an eye-opening article about Maine and the aquaculture industry titled “State Peddling Coastal Towns to Fish Farms Without Local Officials Knowledge” online at https://theqsjournal.substack.com/p/state-peddling-coastal-towns-to-fish. QSJ’s information is timely, and Millstein’s findings are pertinent to share with local communities.

For more information about DECD and Maine & Co. Land-Based Aquaculture incentives, refer to www.maine.gov/decd/businessdevelopment/landbasedaquaculture and www.maineco.org/aquaculture.

Carrie Peabody
January 20, 2023
Ellsworth American