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American Aquafarms salmon farm rejected due to egg sourcing concerns

Friday, April 22, 2022

The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has terminated the application of American Aquafarms for two 60-acre pen sites off Gouldsboro after the company failed to fulfill its legal obligation to demonstrate an available source of fish to be cultivated at its proposed salmon farms in Frenchman Bay.

The company planned to place 30 floating pens, each 150-foot wide, for growing salmon in a 120-acre area in Frenchman Bay. The firm also planned to use the old Maine Fair Trade Lobster plant in Gouldsboro for a salmon hatchery and processing plant.

The source of Atlantic salmon proposed by American Aquafarms, AquaBounty of Newfoundland, Canada, did not meet the criteria for a “Qualified Source/Hatchery” as defined in DMR regulations, Maine department said. Additionally, American Aquafarms failed to provide documentation demonstrating that the proposed source of fish/eggs could meet genetic requirements in law.

AquaBounty response

“AquaBounty has been in discussions with American Aquafarms about becoming an approved supplier to provide them with non-genetically engineered Atlantic salmon eggs from our facility in Rollo Bay, PEI, Canada. Representatives for American Aquafarms requested specific information and data from AquaBounty, which we have provided. We did not receive requests for any additional information,” said AquaBounty chief executive and president, Sylvia Wulf, in a statement.

“AquaBounty has rigorous Quality Control and Quality Assurance procedures in place to confirm the genotype of every commercial batch of eggs shipped from our hatcheries. We verify the genotype and ploidy of genetically engineered “GE” eggs shipped to AquaBounty farms using procedures approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and we verify that no GE eggs are present in any shipment of non-GE eggs, using established molecular biological methods,” Wulf said. “The same egg QC procedure would be used to verify the absence of GE eggs in batches used by AquaBounty to produce non-GE fry or smolts for our customers. Additionally, AquaBounty does not produce non-GE and GE eggs at the same time in a single facility.”

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