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To the Editor: Norway gets it right

Letter to the editor

March 25, 2022

Ellsworth American

Dear Editor:

Over the past 16 months there has been growing frustration and anger by many who live, work and play in the Gouldsboro, Prospect Harbor, Frenchman Bay and surrounding areas concerning the American Aquafarms proposed salmon farm. Almost every week, The Ellsworth American has published articles and “Letters to the Editor” concerning and opposing this experimental and untested industrial fish farm. American Aquafarms has described the proposed 110-acre salmon farm as being environmentally friendly, innovative and a future employer for hundreds of workers. To date this American Aquafarms view appears to be exactly the opposite of the actual situation.

American Aquafarms, backed by a Norwegian investor, Mikael Roenes, stated that it would have an open forum to address the public’s concerns, but at the forum it instead presented information that did not address the concerns of our local citizens and appeared to be staged. One interesting point about having a Norwegian backer is that Norway has strict regulations that would prevent a salmon farm of this type and massive size from moving ahead in their country, as Norway wants to preserve its coastline and waters. So, one big unanswered question addresses the two sites that will discharge 4.1 billion gallons of wastewater per day (that is 2,000 times greater than the amount of treated sewage from the Bar Harbor treatment plant into our bays). Questions concerning the exhaust, air quality, noise and light pollution from the generators needed to move and circulate the water at the fish pens have not been addressed. Other critical concerns not being addressed are the need for an electrical upgrade, road improvements and what about the tremendous amount of ground water that will be consumed at the processing plant.

As a lifelong sailor and a member of the Marlboro Yacht Club, whose membership is unanimously opposed to this project, exploring Maine’s coast has been a privilege and nature inspiring. Sacrificing this beauty for the almighty Norwegian krone would be a nonreversible mistake and show why Norway has such strict regulations to protect its beauty and wonder.

David Wells


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