An artist's rendering of the proposed Nordic Aquafarms land-based salmon facility in Belfast. A Dutch company that produces yellowtail in Europe also wants to start a land-based fish farm somewhere on the coast of Maine. Credit: Courtesy of Nordic Aquafarms

A Dutch company that produces yellowtail in Europe wants to start a land-based fish farm on the coast of Maine, according to a seafood industry trade publication.

If Kingfish Zeeland’s project moves forward, it would be the third such company in two years to announce plans to open in Maine, joining Nordic Aquafarms in Belfast and Whole Oceans in Bucksport.

The Dutch company, which was founded in 2015, told Seafood Source this month that it had considered 22 sites along the U.S. East Coast but narrowed the list to two sites in Maine. Ohad Maiman, the CEO, did not name the locations but said both have access to clean sea water.

Maiman told Seafood Source that data from his company’s existing operations in the Netherlands should help it with its application process in Maine.

“We know we will have to make sure to explain what we do and how we do it. We will try to present the facts and hopefully that will be enough,” he told Seafood Source. “We have become a favorite son in Zeeland [in the Netherlands], and we feel like a well-accepted part of community now. We would like to achieve the same in Maine.”

The two companies now working to build their farms in Maine are at different points in the process. Whole Oceans, which aims to build a $250 million land-based salmon farm in Bucksport to raise up to 20,000 metric tons of fish, last week closed on a deal to buy a chunk of the former Verso paper mill site. Nordic Aquafarms, which is working to get permits to build a $500 million land-based fish farm near the Little River in Belfast to raise up to 33,000 metric tons of salmon per year, has faced opposition from some project neighbors and others who fear it will harm Penobscot Bay.