Kingfish Maine permits upheld, Kingfish Company announces partnership with Maritech

Published on
March 9, 2023
A Kingfish Company employee giving a thumbs up in the company's processing plant.

Kingfish Maine announced it has achieved two more milestones in its plans to build a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Jonesport, Maine, U.S.A, and The Kingfish Company announced it has partnered with Maritech on software needed to scale the company’s business.  

Kingfish Maine was given a permit win when the Jonesport Board of Appeals upheld the town planning board’s decision to grant a building permit for Kingfish Maine, rejecting all arguments in an appeal by Project Downeast, vocal opponents of the project. The board voted unanimously on each of three issue brought up by the opposition group.

Project Downeast initiated the appeal in December 2022, after the town’s planning board approved the company’s plans for an 8,500-metric-ton capacity RAS yellowtail kingfish farm in Jonesport. It isn’t the first attempt to stop the project by its opponents – a citizen petition led to a referendum for a complete moratorium on all aquaculture projects in the town, a referendum that ended up overwhelmingly rejecting the moratorium.

Project Downeast Attorney Elizabeth Boepple said when announcing the appeal that Kingfish Maine hadn’t lined up the financial resources it needed in order to break ground – a requirement of certain permitting in Maine.

“Maybe investors are getting nervous. Who knows?” Boepple said.

Kingfish Maine has pushed back against opponents to the project, saying that Protect Maine and other groups are funded by the owners of the Roque Island Gardner Homestead Corporation, and family members who own a nearby island and have “battled for Jonesport for control of its future before.”

“These are the latest desperate measures the members of Roque Island and their paid consultants are taking to distract from the fact that the town is overwhelmingly supportive of this project and that it adheres to the highest standard within the rigorous permitting process,” Kingfish Maine Operations Manager Megan Sorby said in response to the appeal.

Kingfish Maine and Sorby commended the appeal board’s decision to uphold the permit.

“We commend the Jonesport Board of Appeals for its thoughtful work and decision making in the appeals process,” Sorby said. “Over the past three years, we’ve had unwavering support from the Jonesport community. We are honored that they have welcomed us and we look forward to our collaborative work as we are planning to bring sustainable land-based technology to the U.S.”

At the same time as the successfully upholding its permitting, Kingfish Maine announced the Financial Authority of Maine (FAME) approved a 90 percent pro rata loan insurance on a USD 2 million (EUR 1.9 million) loan by Machias Savings Bank to enable finalizing the development of the facility – a clear sign claims the company had no financing are inaccurate.

As Kingfish Maine made progress on its RAS, its parent company The Kingfish Company announced a new partnership with Maritech after a successful implementation project in the second half of 2022. The Kingfish Company is now using Maritech Packing and Maritech Purchase & Sales cloud software, and the company said it is also delivering LINSiGHT and a Manufacturing Execution System, to be implemented alongside the competition of a new processing facility at The Kingfish Company’s facility in Zeeland, the Netherlands.

“We are scaling our business and need new tools that enable us to reach our goals,” The Kingfish Company Head of Quality and Sustainability Jan Bastiaansen said in a release. “Our core requirements were to find a system that can be operated in an international environment, is scalable and is designed for seafood processing. We also wanted to avoid customizations. After a thorough round of research, meetings, and reference checks, we found Maritech most likely to be the best fit.”

Bastiaansen said the company has been satisfied with the results of using Maritech’s products so far, and the company plans to continue scaling with Maritech software. 

“We are proud that The Kingfish Company chose Maritech,” Maritech Vice President of Sales Klas Vangen said. “They are a highly innovative and technology-driven company, producing premium products, sustainably farmed. We enjoy cooperating with their strong team, who we learn a lot from during the last months.”  

Photo courtesy of the Kingfish Company/Maritech

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