January 18, 2022

Aquaculture panel plans public meeting

BLUE HILL – The state’s aquaculture task force will hold its third meeting, and the first of four required public hearings in Blue Hill next week.

This will be the public’s first opportunity to address the task force and comment on the aquaculture industry’s role in Maine since the group began its work nearly two months ago.

The Governor’s Task Force on the Planning & Development of Marine Aquaculture was created in response to a slew of contradictory bills during the last legislative session, all seeking to better regulate the growing industry.

On Thursday and Friday, Sept. 25 and 26, the task force will discuss aquaculture’s role in relation to conserved lands as well as the noise and aesthetic impact that farms growing fish and shellfish have on surrounding areas. Representatives from the National Park Service, the Department of Environmental Protection and Maine Coast Heritage Trust are scheduled to speak.

Though the public cannot speak during task force meetings, they are welcome to observe the proceedings. Thursday evening, however, the public will be allowed to speak about their aquaculture concerns, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Blue Hill Town Hall.

The aquaculture task force has been given six months to define the role of aquaculture in Maine and will report its findings and policy recommendations to the Legislature when the next session begins in January.

The agenda for the Blue Hill meeting is available online at www.state.me.us/drm/aquaculture/aqtaskforce. For more information, contact Mary Costigan at 633-9531.

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