Whole Oceans seeks new permit following Bucksport project expansion
By Nestor Arellano
Whole Oceans will now have to update its permits from the municipality of Bucksport following the aquaculture company’s decision to broaden the scope of its recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) project in the historic riverside town in Maine.
The company said the expansion will include Lot 3 of the old Verso Paper Mill site where Whole Ocean is building a US$180-million, land-based farm to raise Atlantic salmon.
“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, chief executive officer 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.”
In September last year, Whole Oceans announced that it has secured approval from the Bucksport Planning Board to build a 945,000-square-foot RAS facility in the site of the the Verso Paper Mill.
The following month, the company obtained submerged land leases for use of the site. This provided Whole Oceans the rights to repair, maintain and use existing structures below the mean low water line of the property.
With its latest move to secure Lot 3, Whole Oceans will need to update its permits from the town of Bucksport.
Whole Oceans will also work with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to update its state approvals, the company said.
“Whole Oceans continues to demonstrate its commitment to the Town of Bucksport through its significant investment in our community,” said Susan Lessard, town manager. “We look forward to working with them and exploring what this latest purchase means for the company and the community.”
Whole Oceans’ project is still at its pre-construction phase, according to Michael Thompson, Whole Oceans senior project coordinator.
“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,” he said.