Gouldsboro residents pass moratorium on large-scale fish farms
GOULDSBORO, Maine (WABI) - Gouldsboro residents voted overwhelmingly Monday night to pass a moratorium ordinance on all aquaculture development - this coming as American Aquafarms wishes to build a 120-acre salmon farm in Frenchman Bay and a processing plant in Prospect Harbor.
Of the more than 200 residents in attendance, only three voted not to pass the moratorium. No official count was taken.
The moratorium lasts 180 days. At that point, it may also be extended for more 180-day periods.
Those in favor of the project say it will create jobs and provide millions of dollars in tax revenue.
Those against say the farm will pollute the waters, potentially endangering critical bay industries, such as lobstering.
”I believe this discharge from these pens will, in time, destroy the ecosystem there,” said lobsterman Jerry Potter. “We might lose our resources, which brings in megabucks for the community, and the whole state of Maine.”
“I support American Aquafarms, said Mason Johnson, the general manager of Grindstone Neck of Maine. “I think it’s an opportunity that Gouldsboro needs to increase our infrastructure here in the town. It’s a benefit for our police force, our fire, our schools. It’s a much-needed revenue source.”
The town’s comprehensive plan has not been updated since 2005. This pause allows the town government time to review and potentially amend its ordinances.
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