US yellowtail kingfish RAS project moves forward

The building permit was upheld by Jonesport’s Board of Appeals and the finance authority of Maine approves the loan insurance request for project preparation.

Kingfish Maine team_March_2023-305
Kingfish Maine team. Pictured from left; Tom Sorby and Megan Sorby, Operations Managers; Liz Groover, Hatchery Technician (Not pictured, Tom Reynolds, Lead Technician)
March 14, 2023

The Kingfish Company continues to achieve major milestones in its plans to build a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Jonesport, Maine. 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 on March 7. 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 Vincent Erenst, Kingfish Company CEO. “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, FAME 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 8,500 metric tons of yellowtail. Kingfish Maine will be the largest producer of yellowtail kingfish in the U.S.