Fourth Fish Farm Planned for Maine. Aquabanq to Raise Salmon at Former Millinocket Mill

Aquabanq, a U.S. subsidiary of U.K.-based Aquaculture Management & Holding Co. recently announced plans to build a new land-based, recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) to raise Atlantic salmon at the former Great Northern Paper Co. mill site in Millinocket. 

Written by: Ethan Andrews /

The company plans to break ground next year and produce 3,600 metric tons of Atlantic salmon per year by 2022 and up to 10,000 tons by 2025. 

CEO A.J. Shapiro, in an email to The Free Press, declined to say exactly where the facility would be located on the former mill property and if Aquabanq has secured the land, saying more information would be disclosed later. 

In a page dedicated to the project on its website, Aquabanq says the location “offers access to renewable hydroelectric power, clean cold water, and the great industrial infrastructure of the former mill town,” adding that Millinocket is within “a few hours driving distance of two of the largest feed manufacturers.”

Aquabanq is the fourth company to propose such a facility in Maine since 2018. Nordic Aquafarms, the U.S. subsidiary of the Norwegian aquaculture company of the same name, is seeking permits for a RAS salmon farm in Belfast that would produce 15,000 to 33,000 metric tons of salmon per year. Whole Oceans, a U.S. startup, recently closed on a piece of the former Verso Paper mill in Bucksport, where it plans to begin construction this year on a RAS salmon farm to produce 5,000 to 20,000 metric tons of salmon per year.

All three companies have said they plan to take advantage of a growing market for Atlantic salmon by producing the fish near markets in the Northeast U.S., while using the natural resources and name recognition of Maine.

A fourth company, Netherlands-based Kingfish Zeeland, said earlier this month that it intends to build a land-based aquaculture facility at one of two possible unnamed locations on the coast of Maine to raise yellowtail, a fish that is commonly used in sushi.


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