American Aquafarms launches video series on proposed project

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GOULDSBORO – American Aquafarms invites the public to listen to the premiere of its eight-part “Community Conversations” series beginning Thursday, January 20. In the introductory video, the Norwegian-backed company’s new US CEO, Keith Decker, paints his vision of Maine as a major food producer and the proposed $250 million salmon farm at Frenchman Bay as forefront of sustainable fish farming practices around the world. As the pandemic lingers, company officials see the online series as a way to directly deliver information about the project and answer questions from the public.

Archipelago Law, a Portland-based maritime and “blue” business firm, which took over from Bernstein Shur this winter as legal counsel for American Aquafarms in Maine, developed “Community Conversations.” One of the founding partners of the small company, Benjamin E. Ford, hosts “Show 1” of the series created on the Vimeo video hosting platform. Decker and American Aquafarms Project Development Manager Tom Brennan are the only two other participants in the 15-minute segment available at https://vimeo.com/661319868/c983238d00.

With guitar strumming in the background, “Community Conversations: Show 1” opens in the Prospect Harbor village of Gouldsboro, where American Aquafarms says it is in the process of acquiring the gated fruit processing complex of Seafood Maine Fair Trade of New Bedford, Mass.- East Coast Seafood Group.

Panoramic aerial views of Prospect Harbor and its lobster fleet, Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Islands set the scene for “Show 1”. In all eight segments of the series, Ford says viewers will hear about different facets and phases of American Aquafarms’ proposed operation that would also encompass two 15-pen sites in Frenchman Bay, where the company would farm 66 million Atlantic salmon per year in Norway. -builds eco-cages.

In “Show 1,” Ford features and interviews Decker, who has worked in the seafood industry for more than 30 years. The new CEO of American Aquafarms says he’s spent a lot of time on “the Gulf of Maine at try to restore the groundfish fishery, at least from the point of view of harvesting and production capacity”. He also advocates for the United States to stop importing 90% of its seafood and grow its own fish. He notes that five of the top eight seafood species consumed in the United States are farmed and imported.

No doubt referring to Atlantic salmon, which is the most consumed fish in the United States, Decker points out that Maine and Alaska offer optimal conditions for farming this cold-water fish. and that the Pine Tree State’s proximity to New England – the premier inland market – makes coastal Maine all the more attractive.

“While this is an opportunity to speak to you, the viewer, about our project, we also hope to hear from you about questions you have and concerns you would like to address.”

The series is not a live interactive forum. Instead, viewers can email questions to [email protected].

In the video, as host, Ford asks Decker and Brennan about various issues — from lighting to sound — that have arisen since American Aquafarms first launched its project in the fall of 2020. Among them lies the credibility of company co-founder Mikael Roenes, who has a criminal record having served time in prison for securities fraud.

“He paid his debt to society. He went to jail. He paid off all his debts. He spent the last 20 years rebuilding his career, rebuilding his name,” Decker said. “He is very public about his past. We are a society where once people have paid their debt to society, we are a forgiving society. Treat him like any other investor.

The American Aquafarms website has not been relaunched. To access “Community Conversations”, go to https://vimeo.com/661319868/c983238d00.

In addition to editing the Arts and Recreation section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden, and Get Ready for Winter. She is from Chicago, Illinois, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]
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