Your Dec. 16 lead editorial, “Our View: Aquaculture wrong target for protests,” is misleading and inaccurate.

The editorial suggests that corporate aquaculture will “contribute to a lower carbon profile than other methods” in order to feed a hungry world, and it contains a link to the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit on Aquaculture that applies only to “water environments, including ponds, rivers, lakes and the ocean.” However, the Nordic Aquafarms salmon farm proposed for Belfast would be land-based.

A peer-reviewed scientific paper published in Aquacultural Engineering in 2016, titled “Comparative economic performance and carbon footprint of two farming models for producing Atlantic salmon,” states that salmon produced on land has twice the carbon footprint of salmon produced in sea pens.

While 60 percent of Maine’s electricity generation is considered renewable, a common misconception is that biomass derived from wood is low-carbon. In fact, a report released in 2017, “The Great American Stand: U.S. Forests and the Climate Emergency,” concludes that “burning wood for electricity releases up to 50 percent more carbon dioxide than burning coal per unit of electricity generated.”

At a time when the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as the recent U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment urge that we do everything possible to lower our carbon footprint, I urge you to reconsider your support of the environmentally destructive Nordic Aquafarms industrial fish farm project.

George Aguiar


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