A rendering of the 120-acre salmon farm on a portion of the former Verso mill site in Bucksport proposed by Maine company Whole Oceans. RENDERING COURTESY OF JOHN GUTWIN OF PEPPERCHROME

Whole Oceans expands footprint

BUCKSPORT — The Whole Oceans project to build a state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility that will be used to raise Atlantic salmon has expanded to include an additional lot on the site of the former Verso paper mill in Bucksport.

“This gives us more than 10 acres where our saltwater intake will be and includes deep-water access and a wharf with a warehouse,” said Jacob Bartlett, CEO of Whole Oceans. “We are excited about the opportunities this new property presents, and our team is exploring the best ways to use this parcel to enhance our entire project.”

Michael Thompson, Whole Oceans’ senior project coordinator, added, “Aquaculture at this level is complex, and the addition of Lot 3 creates even more opportunities that must be considered. So, while you may not see a shovel in the ground yet, know that our team is working hard to develop the best designs that will result in a world class facility for Bucksport and the state of Maine.”

With the additional land, Whole Oceans will need to update its permits from the town of Bucksport. Whole Oceans also will work with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to update its state approvals.

“Whole Oceans continues to demonstrate its commitment to the town of Bucksport through its significant investment in our community,” said Town Manager Susan Lessard. “We look forward to working with them and exploring what this latest purchase means for the company and the community.”

The Whole Oceans team is continuing its pre-construction phase. This phase includes finalizing the details of the design plans and contract negotiations for construction of the project.

The company moved its office from Portland to Main Street in Bucksport earlier this summer.