BAR HARBOR — Amid the uncertainty of American Aquafarms’ next move forward, Mount Desert Island’s Acadia Senior College has invited both the company and its critics to make their cases separately in a free, two-part online program from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, and Tuesday, May 17.
The Senior College’s incoming president, Mike Hastings, will serve as moderator. Open to the public, the online program will be run by Hastings and will allow for questions from viewers and listeners via Zoom.
“We at the Senior College respect the breadth and vigor of the discussion of this proposed project within the communities we serve and want to give all those interested an opportunity to hear both perspectives in a fairly structured format,” the Senior College’s current president, Linda Dunn, said last week.
At the May 10 presentation, American Aquafarms’ Project Manager Tom Brennan is expected to give an overview of the company’s plan to raise Atlantic salmon from smolt to market size at two Frenchman Bay sites. Brennan, who has been the company’s main spokesperson for the $250 million salmon farm since it was first proposed in mid-fall of 2020, also will outline the project’s economic benefits for Frenchman Bay communities, Hancock County and Maine.
On April 20, the DMR issued a public notice that American Aquafarms’ two lease permit applications were being permanently terminated because of the company’s failure to provide a “Qualified Source/Hatchery” for Atlantic salmon eggs or juvenile fish in compliance with state regulations and standards. The state agency also cited the company’s failure to furnish a source that met its “genetic requirements” under law. The proposed source of fish was U.S.-owned AquaBounty Canada’s Newfoundland hatchery.
At the May 17 session, Frenchman Bay United Director Ted O’Meara, Friends of Acadia’s acting CEO Stephanie Clement and Acadia National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider will present their shared concerns and criticism of American Aquafarms’ industrial-scale project.
To participate in Acadia Senior College’s May 10 and May 17 online program, pre-registration is required.