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Dutch-Based Kingfish Zeeland Eyes Yellowtail Fish Hatchery in Joesport, Maine

Kingfish Zeeland, a Netherlands-based company that produces Yellowtail Kingfish, plans to locate its $110 million North American Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) Yellowtail fish production plant in Jonesport, Maine. The project is expected to create 70 jobs after construction, with a goal of producing 6,000 metric tons of fish.

Kingfish Zeeland currently operates a land-based RAS facility in the Dutch province of Zeeland producing antibiotic-free Dutch yellowtail. The firm utilizes “cutting edge technology, over 30 years of hands-on marine fish farming experience, and the strictest sustainability practices.”

“Our primary goal has always been to find a welcoming community with the same environmental and sustainability standards as our own,” Ohad Maiman, CEO of Kingfish Zeeland said in an interview with Maine Public Radio. “With this vote of confidence from the Jonesport community, we can move forward knowing that we are welcomed in this community and the residents are engaged in our project.”

"The choice of Maine ended up being a combination of first, access to sea-water, which is critical," Maiman explained. "And the second benefit was a strong seafood culture and infrastructure, everything from cold-chain shipping to processing to the long-standing tradition that, even though it's not fishing, it's still fish."

Kingfish looked at more than 20 locations along the US East coast before settling on Jonesport. Maine & Co., a private non-profit corporation providing confidential site selection and business services, researched potential Maine sites and provided incentives identification and valuation for the Kingfish Zeeland team. They also partnered with academic, marine science and engineering consultants to support the project.

“Kingfish Zeeland was looking for a location that reflected their current home in the Netherlands; a community with a strong work ethic, a supportive fishing community and strong sustainability standards,” said Ashley Pringle, Maine & Co.’s Vice President, Operations. “Jonesport is excited by Kingfish Zeeland’s proposed investment in its community and the potential for supporting the growing aquaculture industry in Maine.”

“An infrastructure backbone, things like experience shipping seafood, was quite critical to us,” Maiman said. “And Maine branding is good for seafood. We felt quite at home in Jonesport; felt a very warm welcome.”

The company is beginning site surveys for the 90-acre property, preparing for the submission of needed permits, engineering studies, and construction planning.

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