I am writing out of concern for the foreign company Kingfish constructing an inland fish farm in Jonesport along the shore of Chandler Bay. They are planning to build and large inland fish farm. The company will pump 28,000,000 gallons of water containing enormous amounts of nitrogen into Chandler Bay each day. The nitrogen, according to scientists, will deplete the amount of oxygen in the water in the bay. Much lower amounts of oxygen will cause the water temperature to rise causing an algae bloom. The algae bloom will be capable of killing all forms of shellfish growing and living in Chandler Bay and Englishman Bay. Millions of dollars worth of lobsters, mussels, scallops, and clams have been harvested there for years. Is it right to destroy the livelihood of shellfish harvesters to make money for a foreign company?
I have fished Chandler Bay and Englishman Bay for 50 years. Kingfish claims the nitrogen and other forms of pollution will have little effect on the water of the Bay. I know from years of experience the water flowing into Chandler Bay is a stronger current than what comes out. So what goes into the “Bay” will remain there, making an algae bloom possible, spelling the end of abundant shellfish harvesting.
“Kingfish” promises local employment. The State of Maine Department of Economic and Community Development thinks this is great. Only 10 of those numerous promised jobs will be skilled workers. Companies in our area cannot hire enough workers, now. How will Kingfish hire low-wage employees? I believe they will employ migrant works, paying as little as possible to fill their employment needs. So the employment promises will probably fall short.
The company should be paying taxes, but it is my understanding that the State of Maine is giving Kingfish a 10-year tax break. Will Jonesport also give them a tax break as well?
The Beals-Jonesport Co-op, Inc. and A.C. Inc. put millions of dollars into the area towns’ economies. They have many fishermen from this area. Young harvesters, let your voice be heard before it is too late. I will not be able to fish too much longer, but the younger harvesters have a lot to lose and Kingfish has everything to gain.
Robert L. Beal
February 23, 2022
Machias Valley News Observer