Former American Aquafarms CEO sells processing facility, new owners exploring development options

The form

Former American Aquafarms CEO Keith Decker has successfully auctioned off the company’s facility in Gouldsboro, Maine, U.S.A. for USD 975,000 (EUR 895,000), the Ellsworth American reported.

Decker announced his resignation from American Aquafarms in early May and soon after announced the facility would be up for sale as compensation for USD 1.125 million (EUR 1.03 million) the company owed him. The company originally bought the 100,000-square-foot facility in 2020, with plans to use the facility for a closed net-pen salmon aquaculture operation in Frenchman’s Bay,  before legal efforts and permit trouble effectively ended the project’s hopes of getting off the ground.

Opposition to the project was great enough that it spawned a state-level bill, LD 1951, “An Act Regarding Marine Finfish Aquaculture,” to amend maximum stocking densities for salmon. During hearings for that bill, Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher revealed that the American Aquafarms proposal was shut down for a number of reasons.

“This was NOT due to a technicality, as some would have you believe,” he said. It was denied due to many failures of the applicant, including failing to demonstrate a qualified genetic source, and because the hatchery could not meet our standard in law or rule, and because samples sent to DMR were improperly cared for.”

The building and a few lots of land associated with the property were all sold to...

Photo courtesy of Keenan Auction Company

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