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Court upholds Kingfish Maine RAS permit

August 30, 2023  By  Nestor Arellano

The Kingfish Company’s U.S. facility in Jonesport, Maine. (Image: Kingfish Maine)

Kingfish Maine’s recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) project in Jonesport has cleared another hurdle. On Aug. 29, the aquaculture company reported that the state’s court had rejected an appeal of the project and that Kingfish Maine’s state permit was upheld.

The Maine Superior Court upheld the Maine Board of Environmental Protection’s (BEP) affirmation of the company’s Site Location of Development Act (SLODA) and Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA) joint permit. The permit was initially issued in 2021 and finalized after an appeal in 2022.

Kingfish Maine is part of the Netherlands-based Kingfish Company which produces high-value Dutch yellowtail. Kingfish Maine announced in 2019 its intentions to build a RAS facility in the town of Jonesport, in Washington County, Maine. However, the company has faced stiff opposition over environmental and permit issues.


The Roque Island Gardner Homestead Corporation and Eastern Maine Conservation Initiative had earlier sought to overturn the SLODA and NRPA joint permit. In their appeal, the two organizations cited what claimed to be the BEP’s “failure to independently assess the project’s impact on wildlife under NRPA.” The two groups said the BEP did not independently assess the project’s effluent discharges.

However, the court concluded that “the Board did not violate NRPA or otherwise act unreasonably by failing to independently assess the project’s effluent discharges.”

The most recent dismissal was the second state-level denial involving appeals to stop Kingfish Maine’s project.

“The opposition from Roque Island continues to be unsuccessful in its appeals of the Kingfish Maine project. This latest appeal denial is a clear victory for Kingfish Maine and more importantly the residents of Jonesport,” said Megan Sorby, operations manager for Kingfish Maine.

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