Kingfish Maine Project Milestones: Building Permit Upheld by Jonesport’s Board of Appeals and Finance Authority of Maine Approves Loan Insurance Request for Project Preparation
(For Immediate Release) March 8, 2023: The Kingfish Company continues to achieve major milestones in its plans to build a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Jonesport. The Jonesport Board of Appeals has upheld the Planning Board’s decision to grant a building permit for Kingfish Maine, unanimously rejecting all arguments in an appeal by opponents. Also, the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) has provided its unanimous support for loan insurance on a direct loan by Machias Savings Bank relating to the project.
The Jonesport Board of Appeals denied Protect Downeast’s attempt to appeal the Planning Board’s approval of the Kingfish Maine building permit. The town’s Board of Appeals voted unanimously in favor of Kingfish Maine on each of the three appeal issues brought forward by the opposition group, which includes leadership by the summer residents of Roque Island. The formal adoption of the final decision was completed March 7th.
This isn’t the first time the opposition has lost in its attempts to stop the project. Groups which represent the summer residents of Roque Island lost another appeal before the Maine Bureau of Environmental Protection last year. The Kingfish Maine project is fully permitted by local, state and federal regulatory agencies.
“We commend the Jonesport Board of Appeals for its thoughtful work and decision making in the appeals process,” said Megan Sorby, Kingfish Maine Operations Manager. “Over the past three years, we’ve had unwavering support from the Jonesport community. We are honored that they have welcomed us and we look forward to our collaborative work as we are planning to bring sustainable land-based technology to the U.S.”
“The Kingfish Company is committed to demonstrating the highest standards of sustainability, which includes transparency and responsibility to our stakeholders and the community where we intend to develop our latest project,” said Kingfish Company CEO Vincent Erenst. “We credit the Jonesport community for its commitment to the project and sharing our vision for the future.”
In another milestone, FAME approved 90% pro rata loan insurance on a $2 million loan by Machias Savings Bank to enable finalizing the preparation of the development of the Jonesport facility. FAME’s Commercial Loan Insurance Program insures a portion of a loan to a business made by a participating financial institution or investment firm.
“FAME is proud to partner with Machias Savings Bank to support this aquaculture project in Washington County, which promises to bring quality, good-paying jobs to the area,” stated Carlos R. Mello, CEO. “Aquaculture projects support our rural communities and are an important part of Maine’s economic development plan.”
Kingfish Maine is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Kingfish Company and will deploy the same advanced technology and operational excellence proven at the company’s facility in the Netherlands. Once the Jonesport facility is fully operational, it is projected to produce 8500 metric tons of yellowtail. Kingfish Maine will be the largest producer of Yellowtail Kingfish in the U.S. and will provide local sustainable seafood for North American retailers and food service providers.
Press contact: Dianna Fletcher
About The Kingfish Company
The Kingfish Company is a pioneer and leader in sustainable land-based aquaculture. Current annual production capacity at its Kingfish Zeeland facility in the Netherlands is 1,500 tons of high quality and high value Yellowtail Kingfish. Expansion is underway and capacity in the Netherlands will reach 3,500 tons in the second half of 2022.
Kingfish Maine is now fully permitted by local, state and federal regulatory agencies.
Production is based on advanced recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), which protect biodiversity and ensure biosecurity. Ani
mal welfare is paramount, and the fish is grown without use of antibiotics and vaccines. Operations run on 100 percent renewable energy, sourced from wind, solar and biogas. The company’s facilities operate on sea water, avoiding wasting of precious fresh water.
The Kingfish Company’s main product at present, the Yellowtail Kingfish (also known as Ricciola/Hiramasa/Greater Amberjack) is a highly versatile premium fish species, well known in the Italian and Asian fusion cuisines.
Its products are certified and approved as sustainable
and environmentally friendly by Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) and British Retail Consortium (BRC). It was the winner of the 2019 Seafood Excellence Award, and it is recommended as green choice by Good Fish Foundation.
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) is a quasi-independent state agency that provides innovative financial solutions to help Maine citizens pursue business and educational opportunities. Celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2023, FAME helps to lead the creation of good paying jobs for Maine citizens by working at the nexus between economic and workforce development. To learn more about FAME, please visit www.famemaine.com