Jacob Bartlett steps into CEO role at Whole Oceans as project nears groundbreaking

Whole Oceans announced 8 August that Jacob Bartlett, the CEO of Emergent Holdings – the owner of Whole Oceans – is stepping into a leadership role with the company as it moves into its next phase.

Bartlett has extensive experience in the aquaculture industry, and is taking on a more active role with Whole Oceans as the company nears groundbreaking on its Bucksport, Maine salmon recirculating aquaculture (RAS) system plans. Jason Mitchell, the president of Whole Oceans, will remain in his role as president. 

Mitchell led the project through its pre-construction phase and up through acquiring several key permits, but is now “stepping back from a leadership role in the project,” according to a release by Whole Oceans. 

“I am very proud of all that Whole Oceans has accomplished so far.  Land based aquaculture is a unique opportunity for Maine, with Whole Oceans and the town of Bucksport leading the way!” Mitchell said. “I have faith in the leadership of this company to put together a great team and continue the momentum we have built to date.”

Bartlett was the founder of Neptune’s Keep in 2005, a company that developed some of the first aquaculture asset bio-tracking software. Bartlett sold the company in 2007 to Pranger Enterprises in Indiana, where his role with the company grew to running the aquaculture division. According to a bio sent by Whole Oceans, he was an integral part of Pranger developing the first ever land-based salmon farm in the U.S. 

Since then, Bartlett was selected as the CEO of Emergent Holdings, a company focusing on the advancement of aquaculture in North America. Now, he’ll step into the leadership role of Whole Oceans as the company prepares to secure final permits and begin construction, and eventual production of salmon. 

“Whole Oceans and its owner, Emergent Holdings, are committed to the Town of Bucksport and to the successful completion of this project,” Bartlett said. “We are close to completing all of the necessary permitting and will soon head into a new phase with engineers and contractors and breaking ground. I very much look forward to assuming a more active role in this project moving forward and to working with the strong team we have assembled for this project in Maine.”   

The purchase of the Bucksport, Maine property was completed in late May, and Mitchell and the company’s outreach coordinator Jennifer Fortier sat down with SeafoodSource  in July to discuss the full details of the company’s progress in developing the project. The company has set its sites on expanding its reach from the facility in Bucksport to another facility on either the east or west coast of North America. 

In June, Emergent Holdings sought a majority stake in Kuterra LP – a salmon RAS facility in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. However, that deal later was voted down by the ‘Namgis First Nation which owns the Kuterra facility. The official results of the vote was narrow, with a 103 to 95 vote rejecting the deal. Since then, Emergent Holdings has not disclosed whether it is continuing to pursue a deal with Kuterra. 

Photo courtesy of Whole Oceans


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