Whole Oceans secures key leases, says construction won’t begin until 2020

The U.S. state of Maine has granted two leases to Whole Oceans key to the company’s hopes to open a land-based recirculating aquaculture system raising Atlantic salmon in the coastal town of Bucksport.

On 21 October, Whole Oceans received submerged land leases for use of property along and underneath the Penobscot River, allowing it to “maintain, repair, and use existing intake and outfall structures on the property that are below the mean low-water line,” according to the permits, which are valid through 2034.

“We are excited to continue to make progress towards breaking ground on the project,” Whole Oceans CEO Jacob Bartlett said. “The company is currently hiring people with decades of industry experience  for leadership positions such as our new hatchery manager, Orfa Cabrera, as well as planning for construction.”

Portland, Maine-based Whole Oceans first announced its plans for the farm, which is expected to have a capacity of 5,000 metric tons of fish annually, in February 2018. Earlier company announcements estimated the facility would be completed by 2019, but construction has not yet begun on the USD 180 million (EUR 161.4 million) project, and the Bangor Daily News reports Whole Oceans is still waiting for a final development permit from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

While Whole Oceans expects to receive that permit by the end of November, it is now predicting it will break ground in the spring of 2020, company spokeswoman Angie Helton said.

Photo courtesy of Chris Chase/SeafoodSource


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