100 Lobstermen on Schoodic Peninsula Sign Petition Opposing Proposed Salmon Farm in Frenchman Bay
Updated: Mar 10, 2022
GOULDSBORO, Maine – A grassroots group opposed to a proposal for an industrial salmon farm in Frenchman Bay presented Gouldsboro selectmen Thursday night with petitions signed by 100 local fishermen who also are opposed to the project.
The signatures were collected by Friends of Schoodic Peninsula and represent fishermen in
each of the peninsula’s five harbors: Winter Harbor, South Gouldsboro, Bunker’s Harbor,
Prospect Harbor and Corea. They join 26 Bar Harbor lobstermen and -women who presented a similar petition to their town council last year.
“This is going to take away more of our lobster fishing ground,” said Jerry Potter, 75, of South Gouldsboro, who has fished in Frenchman Bay all of his working life and has been active in efforts to defeat the proposed fish farm. “We’re worried about disease. And I’m very concerned it would pollute the bay and destroy the bay’s entire ecosystem.”
“It is difficult to find any local support for this proposal,” said Jackie Weaver of Friends of
Schoodic Peninsula, part of the Frenchman Bay United coalition that is leading the opposition to American Aquafarms. “Lobstering is a critical part of our local economy, and our fishermen will be affected more than anyone by this floating fish factory. We are pleased that so many of them stepped up to sign the petition.”
Signers of the petition, which include State Representative William “Billy Bob” Faulkingham of Winter Harbor, said that they are opposed to American Aquafarms “because of concerns about the impacts on our livelihood” and issues such as the loss of prime fishing ground, loss of gear from service vessels, navigational conflicts; and water pollution.
The project also includes a hatchery, processing plant, and massive sludge disposal operation proposed for the former Maine Fair Trade lobster processing operation in Prospect Harbor. Last November, the town of Gouldsboro approved a 180-day moratorium to give the Planning Board time to rewrite their ordinances to address a development of this magnitude.
While wastewater discharge applications for two pen sites in Frenchman Bay are pending
before the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, no permits have been filed for the Prospect Harbor facilities.
Petition signed by Schoodic Peninsula lobstermen
We, the undersigned, fish in the waters in and around Frenchman Bay. We are opposed to the Norwegian owned American Aquafarms proposal for salmon pens in the bay because of concerns about the impacts on our livelihood, including but not limited to:
The loss of prime fishing ground for lobster, scallops, and shrimp.
Increased fishing pressure that will result on adjacent fishing grounds.
Loss of gear from service vessels and related support activity.
Water pollution from discharge systems, waste, and feed as well as the potential for significant fuel spills all
threatening habitat for the bay fisheries.
Disturbance to the ocean bottom around the pens.
Lowering the potential for a comeback to the historical fisheries of the Bay including the recent shrimping fishery
that centered inside the bay on these two deep water holes.
An unwanted disruption to our way of life and to the environment that we work in.