The New Hampshire-based aquaculture company, Blue Water Fisheries, is aiming to create the first offshore fish farm in New England by raising millions of pounds of salmon and steelhead trout in pens miles from shore. Thus far, the only marine aquaculture operations off New England have been built relatively close to shore.
BWF is proposing to place 40 submersible fish pens roughly 7 1/2 miles off the coast of Newburyport, Massachusetts. However, some environmental groups are already raising concerns over pollution from fish waste and the accidental release of non-native species or fish-borne diseases into local waters. There is also concern over possible interference with groundfish spawning aggregations in the Gulf of Maine.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is working with Blue Water Fisheries and other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency on the regulatory and approval process.