Nordic Aquafarms gets key permit for California RAS salmon farm

A rendering of Nordic Aquafarms' planned land-based recirculating aquaculture facility in Humboldt County, California.

Nordic Aquafarms has received key approvals from the Humboldt County Planning Commission for its planned salmon recirculating aquaculture system facility in Humboldt County, California, U.S.A.

The approval came on 4 August, 2022, with the commission voting to certify the project's environmental impact report and approve a coastal development permit. The decision came at the second hearing on the permits in a week, after the first public hearing on 28 July had so much public comment members of the commission decided to postpone its vote.

Nordic Aquafarms Interim CEO and CFO Brenda Chandler said the approval is meaningful for the company.

“We would like to convey our appreciation for the many hours of collaborative work done by the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District, and the County of Humboldt on this environmental impact report,” Chandler said in a release. “We consider this certification to be the first of many steps forward to provide a fresh, high-quality seafood product, using environmentally sound and state-of-the-art [recirculating aquaculture system] technology, close to consumers on the West Coast of the United States.”

Nordic Aquafarms first announced its plans for a salmon RAS facility in California in 2019. The company estimated in 2021 that it would need to spend USD 100 million (EUR 98.2 million) on site specific and environmental costs. Nordic is planning to build the facility on the Samoa Peninsula on the former site of the Evergreen Pulp Mill, located near the town of Eureka, California.

The mill, a brownfield site, would be “transformed” by the project, Nordic Aquafarms said.

“Our philosophy is to approach environmental and social goals with balance,” Chandler said. “Sustainable aquaculture is a solution ... to providing healthy protein in an environmentally sound, balanced way.”

Chandler said Nordic Aquafarms is looking forward to continuing to work with the community in advancing the project.

“We see a region that is ready to walk with us into a new opportunity to thrive, creating a California brand of close-to-market fish, and it strengthens our commitment to a successful project,” Chandler said.  

Photo courtesy of Nordic Aquafarms


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