Lamoine residents oppose salmon farm
Updated: Mar 20, 2022
By: AJ Douglas
March 18, 2022
Fox 22 Bangor
Original article and segment LAMOINE — Lamoine residents have growing concerns after American Aquafarms proposed to build an industrial salmon farm on the coast. Local lobstermen signed a petition rejecting the proposal and asking town officials to step in, fearing a loss of prime fishing ground.
“They’re going to have ship traffic every day of the week except for Sundays. Big ships.. 60 foot, 90 foot vessels that are coming in from Prospect Harbor. That’s quite a way, it’s about an hour and a half trip. So that goes through a lot of the lobster fishing grounds,” said Kathleen Rybarz, municipal officer for Lamoine.
She says these large ships will destroy lobstermen’s gear due to entanglement.
Locals are concerned larger ships could cause pollution and compromise their entire economic structure for various fishermen.
“We have a working waterfront. We have lobster fisherman, clammers, and mussel harvesting and that’s really our biggest concern,” Gary McFarland, selectman for Lamoine.
The salmon farm is expected to bring 60 jobs to the area but locals are not pleased with the trade-offs, as local fishermen are already struggling to find enough people to work their boats.
“Now we have lobstermen looking for steersmen out there and they pay them five-hundred dollars a day. They’re not gonna want to go work for even twenty dollars an hour,” said Rybarz.
Rybarz emphasizes the need for residents to understand how the proposed salmon farm impacts the area, including the local tourism industry.
Ultimately the Department of Marine Resources will decide if American Aquafarm’s lease application will be approved.