Farm-raised Atlantic salmon move across a conveyor belt as they are brought aboard a harvesting boat on Oct. 12, 2008, near Eastport, Maine. The federal government ruled Monday, March 20, 2023, that the last wild Atlantic salmon in the country can coexist with dams on a Maine river, dealing a blow to environmentalists who have long sought to remove them. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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A new salmon farm has been proposed in Millinocket. Along with all the other proposals Maine has harbored in the past few years, we must reflect on how seafood such as finfish are procured.

Offshore finfish farms are a type of farm where finfish such as salmon or yellowtail are tightly packed into nets, pens, or cages out at sea. This practice can be detrimental not only to the environment but to the state of Maine as a whole. These farms can pollute our waters by releasing mass amounts of fish waste, excess food, and chemicals such as antibiotics and pesticides. This can hurt the overall marine ecosystem, as well as Maine fisheries and public health.

In a state where salmon proposals are introduced seemingly continuously, we are obviously a hot spot for factory fish farms and must protect our oceans. This is why it is now more important than ever to advocate against this industrial scale farming to help prevent the exploitation of our public resources for large corporations and foreign interests.

People can help reduce the severity of this problem by choosing not to buy farmed finfish next time they are at the store. It is important to think about how we acquire finfish because if we are not careful, we might be inadvertently supporting large corporations instead of our local fishermen. By supporting our local fishermen we can improve the quality of our finfish and protect Maine’s waters from harm.

Connor Montgomery