To the Editor: American Aquafarms misunderstands its audience

To the Editor:

Dear Mr. Benjamin Ford, Mr. Keith Decker and Mr. Tom Brennan:

I had the opportunity to view your initial Community Conversation in which you lay out the generalities of your proposed closed pen salmon project for Frenchman Bay. My overall impression is that I think you seriously misunderstand the audience to which you speak. Your feel-good, soft-pedaled, canned approach is void of any substantive meaning. In short, I believe your consultants have done you a terrible disservice.

This community and surrounding communities of Frenchman Bay require an exhaustive analysis and environmental impact statement to gauge the worthiness of the endeavor. While any logical mind would dismiss your ambitions at face value; nonetheless, due diligence must be performed to validate this proposal.

I think also that you insult the intelligence and misjudge the pride and character of the generations of this area who have plied their trades on these pristine waters of Frenchman Bay and surrounding areas. You come across as lightweights with answers that don’t come from the heart or intellect but are rather merely scripted passages that appear to be disingenuous.

Where are the town hall meetings that would offer a face-to-face audience for your community conversations? And where are the subject-matter experts who could offer historical based data to support your hypotheses? They are indeed hypotheses because a project of this enormity has never been undertaken – anywhere. The fact is that you are here to exploit Maine’s weak protective covenants because you cannot meet the regulations set forth in Norway.

Your comments regarding revitalization and being an economic engine are laughable. Where are the specifics on job creation? You stated in your video that technologists would be commuting to and from Norway. That leaves lower-paying direct labor jobs aided and supplanted by automation. To say nothing of the negative financial and quality of life detriments to inhabitants that would otherwise arise from the byproducts of such a proposal. In addition, the overarching impact on Acadia National Park must be thoroughly vetted. This project would only serve to cause irreparable harm to a pristine and spectacular part of Downeast Maine that will never be recreated.

It is easy to take Frenchman Bay for granted when you are constantly immersed in its beauty and ecosystem. But step away, drive out of state and then come back and you will know that this area is indeed something special, and it needs to stay that way. I hope the governing bodies of Maine that are tasked to permit such a project have the wisdom to appreciate what we have here and the fortitude to protect it.


Edward Thiede Jr.





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