Two More Towns Join Fight Against Industrial Salmon Farm Near Acadia


More local organizations also add their voices to the opposition.

October 8, 2021

The select board of the town of Mount Desert Monday night voted to send a letter to Maine Governor Janet Mills stating their “vehement opposition” to the American Aquafarms’ project, an industrial salmon farm proposed by Norwegian investors for the waters of Frenchman Bay next to Acadia National Park.

Saying that “such a massive project will forever change the intrinsic natural qualities that make Frenchman Bay a beloved national treasure and will threaten our local commercial fishery and the livelihoods of our citizens,” the letter calls on Maine’s Governor to use her “legal and moral authority to preserve and protect the marine life, clear cold waters and clean air of Frenchman Bay and adjacent waters for the current generation and for generations to come.”

Mount Desert joins the town of Sorrento, where residents voted at their annual town meeting last week to oppose the project and support the select board in seeking intervenor status in the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) consideration of it. Both towns are following Bar Harbor, whose town council voted unanimously in June to seek intervenor status after receiving a petition against the proposal from local lobstermen.

“Momentum continues to build against this inappropriate and destructive project, and we expect more towns and local groups to join the opposition in the weeks ahead,” said Kathleen Rybarz, president of Friends of Frenchman Bay and member of Frenchman Bay United, a coalition of organizations and individuals that is leading the fight against salmon farm. “People in the communities around Frenchman Bay and Acadia National Park understand clearly that this project threatens local jobs in fishing and tourism as well as the natural environment and their quality of life.”

“This is no place for 30 massive salmon pens, using unproven technology and pumping 4.1 billion gallons of effluent into the bay each day while running huge diesel generators all day and night,” added Jacqueline Weaver of Friends of Schoodic Peninsula, another member of the Frenchman Bay United coalition.

In addition to Sorrento and Mount Desert, two local organizations also stepped forward in the past week to offer their opposition. In a letter to the Bangor Daily News, Joan E. Moore, president of Seaside Grange #567 in Corea, a village in the town of Gouldsboro where the American Aquafarms project would be located, stated:

We believe the large-scale fish farm and factory proposed for Gouldsboro is incompatible with the fabric and character of the Gouldsboro community, with the existing aquaculture in the bay and with the mission of Acadia National Park, whose land would be on two sides of the proposed fish pens. Potential damage to Frenchman Bay and the industries it supports could be devastating and irreversible. It could destroy the quality of life and livelihoods of people in the surrounding towns, and the impact on the health of the nearby islands and national park could be disastrous.

 Additionally, the commodore committee of the Bass Harbor Yacht Club sent a letter to Frenchman Bay United last week noting that:

These are extremely active ‘home waters’ for the BHYC as well as countless unaffiliated recreational boaters, lobstermen, fishermen, seasonal tours all of whom enjoy the Bay’s unique marine habitat.

With the significant recreational and commercial activity in Frenchman Bay and the large coastal population on its perimeter – all within the shadow of a spectacular National Park – it is inconceivable that this is an appropriate area for commercial aquaculture.

“We welcome the support of additional towns and organizations in our efforts to stop this project,” said Rybarz.  “We are building a powerful coalition against this project, and we hope that our elected officials and state regulators are getting the message that a project like this has no place in Maine’s coastal waters.”

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Media contacts

Crystal Canney

Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation


[email protected]

Ted O’Meara

Frenchman Bay United


[email protected]

Crystal Canney

Executive Director & Spokesperson

Protect Maine’s Fishing Heritage Foundation

[email protected]