FRANKLIN — Kingfish Zeeland, the Netherlands-based company that plans to build a land-based aquaculture facility in Jonesport to grow yellowtail, will work with the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research business incubator program to build its broodstock and scale its operations for eventual production at the company’s proposed aquaculture facility to be located near Chandler Bay on Route 187.
“We see building an early and strong relationship with the University of Maine and the Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research as an asset to Kingfish Zeeland as we scale in the U.S.,” Ohad Maiman, CEO of Kingfish Zeeland, said in a statement last week. “With this contract, UMaine will serve as an important strategic partner for our team here in Maine.”
Maiman was in Maine last week for a series of meetings. On Monday afternoon, he and other members of the Kingfish Zeeland team were at the Moosabec Variety store in Jonesport for an “informal coffee” with area residents. According to a company spokesperson, Monday’s meeting was the first of planned series of monthly meetings in Jonesport.
Last November, Kingfish Zeeland announced plans to build a $110-million land-based aquaculture facility in Jonesport. The company currently produces antibiotic-free yellowtail in the province of Zeeland and has earned both Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certifications.
When the company began operations in 2015 it partnered in a broodstock selection program with Wageningen University in The Netherlands. Megan Sorby, an operations manager for Kingfish Zeeland, said that arrangement was important to the early success of the Netherlands operation.
“It’s our goal to replicate that success with our University of Maine partners here in the U.S.,” Sorby said in a statement. “We are working with an existing broodstock of Yellowtail at CCAR. This partnership will allow us to expand this broodstock and build up a hatchery as we move forward with our Maine facility.”