Industrial-scale aquaculture isn’t a fit for Down East Maine

I am the wife of a fourth-generation fisherman whose livelihood is threatened by a recent decision to permit a large 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 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 recirculating aquaculture system facility in our town.

The application of the economic and job criteria can be the cause for less 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.

Carrie Peabody
Portland Press Herald
January 22, 2023