Lamoine is the latest Frenchman Bay town to oppose massive salmon farm
Hancock residents will take a similar vote at their town meeting in May.
LAMOINE, Maine – Residents of Lamoine voted overwhelmingly at their town meeting
Wednesday to intervene in the permitting process for a massive industrial salmon farm
proposed for Frenchman Bay next to Acadia National Park.
According to select board member Kathleen Rybarz, about 60 people attended the annual town meeting and all but five voted to intervene against the proposal by American Aquafarms and its Norwegian investors to place thirty huge salmon pens in the local waters.
“This was a vote in support of our lobstermen and women who fish out of Lamoine State
Park,” said Rybarz, who is also president of Friends of Frenchman Bay, a member of the
Frenchman Bay United coalition that is leading the fight against salmon farm. “American
Aquafarms threatens local jobs in fishing and tourism. It’s unprecedented levels of air, water, noise and light pollution will destroy the natural environment and quality of life that draws so many people to this area.”
Lamoine joins the towns of Bar Harbor and Sorrento, which last year also voted to intervene, and the towns of Mt. Desert and Hancock, whose leaders have sent letters to Governor Mills opposing the project. The Hancock select board also has put the question of intervening against the project on the warrant for the town meeting to be held on May 10.
In their February 16 letter to the Governor, the Hancock selectmen said that such a massive project “will threaten our local commercial fishery and the livelihood of our citizens” and that “ocean based salmon farming on this scale is environmentally unsound and would have a profound negative impact on the ecology of Frenchman Bay and beyond.”
In addition to the votes from neighboring communities, the town of Gouldsboro, where the
project’s proposed hatchery and processing plant would be located in the village of Prospect
Harbor, voted overwhelmingly last November to impose a 180-day moratorium on such large-scale projects to give the planning board time to review and revise local ordinances to address a development of this magnitude.
The vote was widely seen as a rejection of American Aquafarms. The planning board work is in progress and the moratorium is expected to be extended.
Frenchman Bay United
Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation