A proposal to set up salmon farms in east Penobscot Bay has been withdrawn, leaving opponents of the project jubilant.

Norway-based Jorn Vad has decided – for now at least – not to pursue his proposal for an aquaculture lease for salmon pens near Pickering and Scott islands, off Little Deer Isle. The Maine Department of Marine Resources had scheduled three days of hearings in mid-April on Vad’s application, but those were canceled. Vad had sought two 15-acre areas of the bay for his operation.

The news delighted Jane and Sal McCloskey, who organized broad opposition to the salmon farms, arguing they would harm the local fishery, economy and natural beauty of the region. The sisters spent childhood summers on Scott Island, where their author-artist father composed the classic One Morning in Maine and other favorite children’s books.

Jane McCloskey, spokeswoman for East Penobscot Bay Environmental Alliance, speculated that a recent meeting of area fishermen opposed to salmon farming may have been the last straw for Vad, who earlier lost a bid for salmon pens at Perry, in Washington County. But she said Vad notified DMR that he may reapply at some future date.

Vad could not be reached for comment. McCloskey said one of the bigger risks of fish farming is infectious salmon anemia, responsible for the death of millions of fish. Wild salmon are put in jeopardy by such outbreaks, she said.