Whole Oceans parent company settles lawsuit over planned Bucksport salmon farm

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Emergent Holdings, the parent company behind Whole Oceans, has settled a lawsuit with GNP Consulting over a legal dispute surrounding its land-based aquaculture project.

The lawsuit was filed in July 2021, with both sides entering mediation last month before announcing on Friday that a settlement had been reached. Neither side has commented on the details of the settlement, which were not revealed in court documents.

GNP Consulting’s owners, Gabriel and Nicholas Pranger, sold aquaculture engineering company PR Aqua to Emergent Holdings in 2019 for $6.25 million. The sale stipulated that the pair would still manage PR Aqua, aiding Whole Oceans with its planned project. However, a dispute between the two companies emerged when the Prangers sued Emergent Holdings for breaching their contract agreement, claiming they were still owed $2.4 million.

At the time, Emergent Holdings responded by claiming it terminated the contract and halted payments because the Prangers failed to fulfil their promises and had underestimated the cost of the planned Bucksport salmon farm by $150 million.

Read also: Whole Oceans to start work on one of the largest land-based aquaculture systems in the world

Whole Oceans is set to start pre-construction work shortly on the Atlantic salmon farm, being built in Bucksport Maine at the site of a former Verso paper mill. The Maine-based company announced back in 2018 that it had purchased the paper mill site and was set to invest $250 million into the project, producing 50,000 metric tons of Atlantic salmon per year once it is operational.

The company secured approval for the construction in 2019 for what will be one of the largest land-based, recirculating aquaculture systems in the world. According to documents filed in court, the Bucksport project is now estimated to cost around $400 million.