American Aquafarms has filed an appeal in the Cumberland County Superior Court asking the court to vacate the state’s decision, allowing the original application to be reconsidered.
Maine’s Department of Marine Resources (DMR) terminated the application for the $300 million American Aquafarms project in April over questions about the company’s plan to source its eggs from AquaBounty.
The company’s appeals claims that Maine set an arbitrary four-month deadline for information to approve a Canadian egg source and failed to properly consider another potential source from within the state.
“American Aquafarms failed to provide documentation demonstrating that the proposed source of fish/eggs could meet genetic requirements in law,” Maine’s Department of Marine Resources (DMR) told SalmonBusiness in April.
American Aquafarms recently purchased Maine Fair Trade Lobster’s property in Prospect Harbor. The sale of the seafood processing facility comes after the Gouldsboro Selectmen in the area voted unanimously to extend a moratorium on finfish aquaculture for another six months.
In an exclusive interview with SalmonBusiness earlier in May, AquaBounty’s CEO, Sylvia Wulf, reacted with surprise to the decision from Maine’s DMR. Wulf claimed that her side had “communicated to the market that we would be able to supply non-transgenic eggs” and worked “very closely with the Canadian regulatory authorities” to ensure there was “no chance of confusing transgenic and non-transgenic eggs.”
“So, it was a bit of a surprise to us when Maine called out the concern about the source of the eggs. Because we can verify the genetic strains, we can verify that it’s a North American line. Anything that they would have required, we could have provided,” Wulf said.