Questions of economic impact have been prevalent throughout this past year and it has made me think, what is the core of the Maine economy? The obvious answer is fishermen. The second, as shown by the former state motto “Vacationland,” is tourism. Despite individual fishermen’s opinions of tourists, lobstermen and “people from away” have a symbiotic relationship. Fishermen depend on the huge hauls and large sales of tourist season to earn enough to make it through heat season. Something that harms both the fishermen and tourists could be devastating to the local economy. It is for this reason I believe a salmon farm in Frenchman Bay would be devastating. Yes, it may bring short-term jobs, but we need to think long term.
Fish farms are notorious for polluting our seas. Norway and other Scandinavian countries have strict ecological regulations, which is likely why the former Norwegian stockbroker jailed for investment fraud decided to come to Maine; our regulations are not as severe. Marine ecosystems are fragile, and disruption could be catastrophic for fishermen in the region. The proposed location of the thirty 150-foot pens would be right in the view of tourists ascending Cadillac Mountain. Seal watch boats would lose navigation space. Barges filled with fish would regularly round Schoodic Point, severely diminishing the natural beauty and appeal to visitors. If you care about the environment, you cannot support this. If you care about the economy, you cannot support this. If you care about our community heritage, you cannot support this.