Whole Oceans RAS plan ‘going well’ despite delays
A US company’s plans to build an on-land Atlantic salmon farm are reportedly going well despite taking permits taking longer than expected.
Whole Oceans intends to build the $75 million recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility on the site of a former paper mill in Bucksport, Maine.
Portland-based Whole Oceans has filed nine permit applications with local, state and federal regulators to build its plant and told the Bangor Daily News that the process is going well.
The company originally hoped to begin site work preparation two months ago, with construction to follow, but the permitting process is not finished.
Hundreds of jobs
Whole Oceans expects to create hundreds of direct jobs and hopes to expand its initial investment to more than $250m in a phased, multi-year plan. Its goal is to produce 5,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon per year.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) spokesperson David Madore said Whole Oceans has filed a waste discharge permit.
The DEP also will review site development and general site construction permit proposals. Other applications for permits are pending or will be filed with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and the Town of Bucksport.
The Whole Oceans farm is one of two RAS facilities planned for Maine. Nordic Aquafarms intends to eventually produce 33,000 tonnes of salmon per year – the equivalent of 8% of the US consumption of salmon – in the town of Belfast, half an hour’s drive from Bucksport.
The project will involve an investment of between $450m-$500m by the time it is complete, with Phase One costing $150m.