BUCKSPORT — The community will have a chance to learn all about Whole Oceans, which is holding a public hearing Tuesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. at the Bucksport Middle School Performing Arts Center.
The Maine-based company proposes building a land-based Atlantic salmon farm on a portion of the former Verso mill site.
The purpose of the hearing is for the company to inform the public of the project and its anticipated environmental impacts, according to a public notice. The meeting also will serve to educate the public about the opportunities for public comment on the project.
Whole Oceans intends to build a land-based recirculating aquaculture system to grow the salmon. As part of that operation, the company has filed applications with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for wastewater discharge and site location of development permits.
The Maine-based company currently has a purchase and sale agreement with AIM Development, according to Ben Willauer, director of corporate development for Whole Oceans.
The company intends to start construction on the first phase of the farm this year with production under way by 2019, according to a press release issued in February. Ultimately, Whole Oceans plans to have the proposed $250-million aquaculture development fully operational by 2020.
Whole Oceans says the development will eventually provide hundreds of jobs. But, to start, approximately 50 jobs will be created, from administrative to marine biologists to electricians to laborer positions.