A computer-generated photo illustration shows how Nordic Aquafarms’ proposed recirculating aquaculture system would look on the Samoa Peninsula. | Images via Nordic Aquafarms.

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Nordic Aquafarms has expanded its vision for a big land-based fish farm on the Samoa Peninsula.

Last night the Norwegian company agreed to lease an extra three acres of the former Evergreen Pulp Mill property from the Humboldt County Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.

A press release notes that the new plans would make the proposed facility as big as the one the company’s pursuing in Maine, and in an email, Executive Vice President Marianne Naess said the expanded plans would create 50 more jobs than previously announced.

“In full operation the facility will employ more than 150 people, in addition to sizable construction teams and other business partnerships,” the press release notes.

Naess’s email also includes some illustrations of the facility. “We are still in the early phase when it comes to engineering and design, so there might be changes to the final design,” she wrote. “Nevertheless, the pictures illustrates how the facility will look in the surroundings.”

Here are the other two images the company released:

And here’s the press release from Nordic:

Nordic Aquafarms reconfirms its commitment to Humboldt by expanding the Samoa project.
  • Nordic Aquafarms and the Harbor District have agreed to expand the lease area with approx. 3 acres including the Machine building and the Shops & Store building. The Harbor District Board  approved a Letter of Intent (LOI) to finalize an amendment to the lease agreement at an extra board meeting today.
  • This allows Nordic to increase the production capacity to the same size as its Maine facility resulting in more local jobs in Humboldt
  • Nordic Aquafarms also releases the first pictures of the proposed facility 
Nordic Aquafarms today announced that it is expanding its RAS aquaculture project on the Samoa Peninsula in Humboldt County, California. The proposed facility was the first commercial scale RAS facility announced on the West Coast and the expansion is aligned with the company´s US strategy to build its facilities close to the regional markets it plans to serve. 

The current pandemic has accentuated the importance of local food production as an alternative to imported food, and we are very pleased that we have been able to work with the local community and government officials to execute our plans on the west coast. Despite not being able to be present in Humboldt right now, the collaborative relationships in Humboldt continue to grow and we find the community very constructive to work with, says EVP Commercial Marianne Naess who is heading up the Humboldt development.

The agreement between Nordic Aquafarms and The Harbor District states that they will collaborate on a relocation plan for the tenants with long-term leases in the building. Nordic Aquafarms will also be responsible for demolition of the buildings on the additional acreage. 

The Humboldt facility now equals its sister project in Maine in size and has benefited significantly from the development and operations experience from the 3 Nordic Aquafarms facilities in operation, and an equal number of NAF projects under development. Modular standardized designs developed with our Danish RAS design department means that the Maine and California projects benefit from significant design, construction, and operational synergies.

With both Maine and California in progress, we are developing the two largest RAS projects on each Northern US coastline. NAF Inc is committed to creating long-term sustainable businesses in our chosen communities, says NAF Inc President Erik Heim.

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Facts about the Humboldt project:

  • Nordic Aquafarms plans to submit first permit application this summer and the subsequent permit applications this fall.
  • Humboldt facility will be built in two phases. 
  • In full operation the facility will employ more than 150 people, in addition to sizable construction teams and other business partnerships. 
  • Nordic Aquafarms has made the commitment to use as much local labor as possible.
  • Nordic Aquafarms expects to receive the necessary permits in 2021, and the first step in the project will be demolition of old buildings on the site.
  • Once in operation, the facility will represent the highest standard in land-based production (RAS) with removal of 99% of most nutrients and 85% of nitrogen in its discharge. Nordic Aquafarms will continue to work with local environmental groups to address their concerns.
  • All fish are raised in-doors from egg to harvest and it is therefore not possible for fish to escape from the facility. The facility will be constructed to withstand the impact from earthquakes and tsunamis.
  • Nordic Aquafarms will apply for aquaculture permits for both Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon.
  • Nordic Aquafarms will not compete with the local fisheries and is committed to not apply for any aquaculture permit that will compete directly with the local fishermen.
  • Nordic Aquafarms recognizes that the facility will be built on traditional tribal land and will continue to work with tribal entities to ensure that all necessary considerations are taken.

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