Gouldsboro voters elect 2 new elected officials opposed to fish farming proposal

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Gouldsboro voters elected two new lawmakers on Tuesday who oppose plans to farm salmon in Frenchman Bay and process fish at a former local lobster factory.

Two candidates who said they were undecided or at least partially receptive to American Aquafarms’ plan received the lowest vote total of the five people in the running.

Jackie Weaver and Peter McKenzie received the most votes among the five candidates. Weaver, a former reporter for the Ellsworth American, got 285 votes while McKenzie, the city’s former emergency management coordinator, got 185 votes.

Both Weaver and McKenzie said they oppose a proposal by American Aquafarms to farm salmon in Frenchman Bay and then process the salmon at the former Maine Fair Trade lobster factory in the local village. of Prospect Harbor.

Paul Shoemaker, another candidate who also said he opposed the plan, came in third with 158 votes.

Wally Moore, a board member, received the fewest votes with 123.

American Ellsworth reported earlier this month that Moore said the city should tighten its aquaculture regulations, but the salmon company should be able to redevelop the old lobster factory, which she bought at the end of April.

Chris Urquhart, who said he was undecided about the proposal, received the second fewest votes with 140.

Longtime coach Ernest West has decided not to run again this year.

American Aquafarms is seeking to produce 30,000 metric tons, or about 66 million pounds, of salmon each year from two 60-acre sites in Frenchman Bay, but the proposal has been strongly opposed by many area residents, organizations and environmental groups. .

The company’s application for a license from the state Department of Marine Resources to farm salmon was dropped in April after the company failed to find a qualified supplier of salmon roe. she would use to raise the fish. But American Aquafarms has appealed DMR’s decision in Cumberland County and pledged to push for the permits it needs to establish and operate the salmon farm in Frenchman Bay.

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