Independent Maine Sen. Angus King recently toured the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) broodtsock facility of land-based fish farmer Kingfish Maine.
During his visit to facility located in the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) in Franklin, King also express gladness that the US arm of the Dutch firm The Kingfish Company for choosing to set-up shop in Maine.
“Today, with investments in the aquaculture industry, we have exciting new opportunities to continue this long-standing tradition of producing high-quality ocean products,” said King. “…I want to thank the Kingfish team for choosing Maine as its American hub and investing in our great state.”
Kingfish Maine is collaborating with the Washington County Community College, the Labor Department, and the Sunrise County Economic Council to establish apprenticeships and training programs to develop the workforce in the Downeast Region. At full capacity, Kingfish Maine will create more than 70 jobs, with many more jobs to be created in the region when the construction phase is underway.
The company expects to produce 8,500 metric tons of yellowtail from the Jonesport facility when it becomes fully operational.
“We are honored to have Senator King and his staff tour our existing Franklin facility where we have built and are currently operating the same advanced RAS technology used in the Netherlands, ” said Megan Sorby, operations manager for Kingfish Maine. “We recently harvested our first Dutch Yellowtail from Maine, and for the first time, provide our US grown fish to the market.”
The limited release of 8,000 lbs. of Dutch Yellowtail from Maine was distributed to and served at restaurants in Maine, Boston, DC and California this Spring.
“We had great collaborative partners in Maine-based Bristol Seafood for processing and Wheeler Seafood in sales. We hope this is indicative of the economic benefit we can provide in our direct employment as well as indirect impact for other great Maine companies,” said Tom Sorby, Kingfish Maine operations manager.
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