Whole Oceans submits application for building permit

Published on
August 20, 2019

Whole Oceans, the company planning a large salmon recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) in Bucksport, Maine, has officially applied for a building permit with the town. 

The 400-plus page application showcases Whole Ocean’s plans for the 104 acres that the company purchased in May. The project will include 945,000 square feet of construction in its final form, with various phases of construction taking place over the development period, which the company estimates will take 10 years or more. 

"We are pleased with the progress in moving the project forward by submitting the building permit and look forward to our continuing work with the town of Bucksport to bring land-based aquaculture to the area," Whole Coeans CEO Jacob Bartlett told SeafoodSource in an email.

The first phase of the project, which according to the Bangor Daily News would start in November,  will involve the demolition of existing underground foundations, piping, storage tanks, removal of ledge, and more in preparation for the “aquaculture development phase,” which will start with the 90,000-square-foot freshwater building, which will support the initial construction of a hatchery. 

Soon after the hatchery, the southern of two grow-out buildings will begin construction. The site plan indicates that Whole Oceans plans to have two separate grow-out buildings, developed in phases. The southern grow-out facility phase is expected to have 350,000 square feet of space, which includes warehouse space for fish feed.

The application also indicates that the company will be assisted by Kuterra LP, a salmon RAS facility in British Columbia, Canada. Emergent Holdings, the parent company of Whole Oceans, sought a majority stake in Kuterra, a bid that was ultimately shot down by the ‘Namgis First Nation, which owns the facility, in a 103 to 95 vote. 

When finalized, the project will also require additional infrastructure to support “approximately 200 employees/visitors.”  

Photo courtesy of Town of Bucksport, Maine.

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