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To the Editor: Missing the Real Story

Updated: Mar 10

Letter to the Editor

February 11, 2022

Ellsworth American

Original article


Dear Editor:

Your piece on American Aquafarms’ new propaganda videos reads like a company press release instead of a news story in a serious newspaper. For some reason the EA abandoned all journalistic principles and allowed American Aquafarms (which is neither American nor an operator of a single fish farm) to hype its massive, polluting, job-destroying fish farm scheme without any standard journalistic examination. There was no context, no questions, no investigation and no acknowledgement of the overwhelming grassroots opposition to the project.

The “story” is such a lame love letter that it would be funny if the situation weren’t so tragic. The videos’ title (“Community Conversations”) is absurd. The professionally produced video is a patty cake “conversation” between two American front men for the Norwegian-owned company responding to handpicked emailed questions. That’s not a “community conversation.” Missing from the story is that the fish farm is so wildly unpopular among the people of the area that the American Aquafarms execs will not show up in person to talk to us. That’s because they know they’ll be on the hot seat to explain how dumping billions of gallons of fish sewage into pristine Frenchman Bay is good for the community. Or how jamming 66 million pounds (two-thirds of Maine’s lobster catch) of farmed salmon through tiny Prospect Harbor won’t destroy its character, environment, tourism, lobster fishing and stress the existing infrastructure to the breaking point.

The real story is how Maine’s regulatory agencies and political establishment, including the Governor, could allow this disaster to even be contemplated. The real story is how Maine’s regulations could be so lax, and its government be so willing to ram this down the voters’ throats. The real story is how a foreign company run by a Norwegian felon could commandeer this priceless resource (worth billions) for $12,000 per year in fees. Should this Norwegian nightmare become reality, it will be the legacy of failure of Maine’s government and now, it seems, the local journalistic community.

C’mon, Ellsworth American. Get back to doing what you’re supposed to do.

Jed West Prospect Harbor

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