Another closed-containment salmon farming project could be coming to the United States, with the founder of a Norwegian cod farming operation purchasing a Maine lobster facility to develop a hatchery and processing facilities.
The company, American Aquafarms, is backed by Mikael Rones, who is the CEO of Global AS, a Norway-based investment fund.
Rones, who founded cod farming operation Norcod, which just listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange's Merkur Market, founded American Aquafarms in 2019. Rones is no longer involved with Norcod.
American Aquafarms entered into an agreement to purchase the Maine Fair Trade Lobster facility in Gouldsboro, Maine, where it plans to develop its hatchery and processing facilities. American Aquafarms will also develop a workforce strategy plan to support locally sourced, skilled and unskilled labor during the construction and full production phases, the company said.
“We strongly believe that fin fish should be farmed in its natural habitat, in the ocean, with the focus on using the best possible technology to reduce our environmental footprint,” said Rones.
Maine-based companies assisting in the site location and project development include and Bernstein Shur, Cianbro, Kennebec River Biosciences, Maine & Co., and Ransom Consulting.
Mark Blair, former executive director of real estate services at Athenahealth, is American Aquafarms’ project manager. American Aquafarms’ management also includes Eirik Jors, founder and former CEO of a Nordic securities firm.
American Aquafarms is currently meeting with area lobstermen as it considers sites for its growout operation.