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Whole Oceans plans land-based salmon production plant in Maine, US

FBR Staff Writer Published 26 February 2018

US-based Atlantic salmon producer Whole Oceans has unveiled plans to open a land-based salmon farm in Bucksport, Maine by using a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS).

The company purchased a former Verso paper mill location for its new project to raise Atlantic Salmon.

Whole Oceans plans to construct the new salmon farm in this location from August with an aim to grow 50,000 metric tons of Atlantic salmon annually.

The company will invest over $250m in Bucksport once the facility reaches full production capacity.

The company said that the RAS technology, which it will utilize at the salmon farm, is a closed, indoor, land-based system that improves growing conditions.

Using this technology, water is continuously recycled by ultra purification systems, thereby providing a clean, healthy growing environment for the fish while eliminating the use of antibiotics. Thereby, the technology creates an environment to help fish thrive and in turn produce sustainable, superior grade salmon, said the company.

Whole Oceans CEO Rob Piasio said: “The time for RAS has arrived and Whole Oceans will make Bucksport a global leader in sustainable Atlantic salmon production.

“But this story is much bigger than just Whole Oceans. This story is also about the resiliency and determination of towns throughout Maine that make projects like this possible.”

Whole Oceans claims that it has pre-sold all of its total production for the next 10 years. It also expects to create hundreds of jobs once the farm reaches full production.

Junior US Senator from Maine Angus King said: "Aquaculture is a centerpiece of our state's ocean economy.  As a result of careful planning and effort, Whole Oceans is bringing a new opportunity and economic diversification to a former industrial site, creating renewed economic vitality and jobs.

"The innovative Whole Oceans aquaculture facility will reflect our ocean heritage in a new, environmentally sustainable manner."

Whole Oceans will be using the help of Denmark-based Billund Aquaculture and the Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute in West Virginia to execute the project.

Image: Illustration of the land-based salmon farm to be developed in Bucksport. Photo: courtesy of John Gutwin of Pepperchrome.