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The Frenchman Bay Cod Farm Plan

Cod Economics Politics +4 more

ELLSWORTH, US A proposal to convert a 36-acre mussel farm in Frenchman Bay to raising cod drew zero interest when the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) held a scoping session at the Sorrento Community Building last Tuesday to give the public an opportunity to raise questions about the plan.

Great Bay Aquaculture LLC, of Portsmouth, N.H., and Sorrento fisherman James West want to change the permitted use of West’s 35.66-acre aquaculture lease site located south of Prebble Island from growing mussels on suspended ropes to raising codfish in floating pens, reports TheEllsworthAmerican. According to the news agency, since last spring, Great Bay has run a small, experimental cod-rearing operation located on nearly two acres in the middle of West’s lease.

TheEllsworthAmerican says that the DMR aquaculture scoping sessions are supposed to be an opportunity for a dialogue among town authorities, local residents and potential applicants for aquaculture leases. The sessions are supposed to give the community to raise questions and concerns about potential fish farming operations, before a detailed formal lease application, which can be expensive to prepare and even more expensive to change, is filed with DMR and subjected to a public hearing.

Last week, except for West, a few representatives of Great Bay and DMR Deputy Commissioner David Etnier, no one came to the scoping session except one representative of the stated Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and a member of the Acadia National Park staff. Although he was virtually preaching to the choir, Mark Kesselring, Great Bay’s marine operations manager, laid out the company’s plans for the site.