A Dutch aquaculture company with plans to expand to the U.S. appears to have settled on Jonesport. Kingfish Zeeland will debut plans for a land-based fish farm to the town this week. The news was first reported by the Machias Valley News Observer.

Selectman Billy Milliken on November 15 told The Free Press that representatives of Kingfish Zeeland have been in Jonesport for “a few months” and have met with town officials during that time. Principals of the company are scheduled to unveil plans for the new facility Wednesday, November 20, at 6 p.m. at Peabody Memorial Library in Jonesport.

Kingfish Zeeland operates a land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in the Netherlands with an annual production of 600 metric tons of yellowtail, also known as kingfish.

CEO Ohad Maiman told SeafoodSource in May that the company considered 22 locations on the Maine coast for a U.S. facility and at that time had narrowed the field to two communities. Reports in Undercurrent News suggest the U.S. location would have an annual production of 6,000 to 10,000 metric tons of yellowtail. Representatives of Kingfish Zeeland were traveling when The Free Press called the company’s headquarters in Kats, Netherlands, on November 15.

Jonesport town officials are withholding comment until the company presents its plans. Milliken, a real-estate broker, said additionally it would be inappropriate for him to comment “if I was involved.” He declined to say whether he is.

The Down East town is no stranger to aquaculture, from traditional shellfish and lobstering to net pen salmon farming — Cooke Aquaculture has three aquaculture permits in nearby Eastern Bay — but Milliken said a land-based fish farm would be a first for the town.

It would be the fourth in Maine and the second announced this year after U.K.-based Aquabanq went public in June with plans for an RAS salmon farm at the former Great Northern Paper Co. mill in Millinocket to produce 5,000 to 10,000 metric tons of salmon.

Whole Oceans, the first on the scene early in 2018, and until recently the furthest along, had planned to break ground this year on a 5,000- to 20,000-metric-ton salmon farm on a portion of the former Verso Paper Mill site in Bucksport but has moved the start date into 2020. In Belfast, Nordic Aquafarms is seeking state permits for a 13,000- to 33,000-metric-ton salmon farm while facing legal challenges and some public opposition.

Milliken said he’s aware of what’s happened in Belfast.

“What we want to avoid is that,” he said. “We want good information provided and objective decisions made by the public. We don’t want a media frenzy.”

He acknowledged that attention might be unavoidable but said he hopes the development turns on the wishes of the company and the town.

“It’s up to them and us,” he said. “I think they want to come into a community where they’re welcome.”

And does he think they will be welcome?

“I do,” he said. “Wednesday’s a big day for Jonesport.”