Erik Heim, Marianne Naess depart Nordic Aquafarms

Published on
July 5, 2022
Nordic Aquafarms Executive Vice President Marianne Naess and President and Co-Founder Erik Heim.

Nordic Aquafarms President and Co-Founder Erik Heim and the company's executive vice president, Marianne Naess, announced they are leaving the company.

Heim was part of the founding of Nordic Aquafarms eight years ago, and the company gained international attention when it announced its plans in 2018 to build a large land-based salmon recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) farm in Belfast, Maine, U.S.A. Since that time, the company announced plans for another RAS facility in Humboldt County, California, U.S.A.

“It has been eight years since I founded the beginning of Nordic Aquafarms in our living room in Norway – a company to become one of the most-profiled RAS companies in the world,” Heim said in a post on his LinkedIn page.  “We were a pioneer in Norway on commercial salmon RAS. Then moved on to kingfish. And then the journey moved on to the U.S., where the company today is the only RAS player with a strong position on both U.S. coastlines.”

Naess has also been a part of the Nordic Aquafarms story since September 2018. She has served as the company’s commercial director, and according to her LinkedIn profile, ended her tenure with the role of executive vice president of commercial.

Nordic Aquafarms has had to navigate numerous hurdles to advance its plans for the company's farm in Maine. It was embroiled in a court battle relating to the ownership of land it purchased rights to in order to route inflow and outflow pipes necessary for the facility’s operations. It also faced local opposition on every one of the permits it needed in order to begin constructing the facility.

The company ultimately won the legal battle in November 2021, and secured permits in August 2021.

“The company’s salmon project in Maine was fully permitted in 2021 after a truly challenging undertaking and is now ready for next steps,” Heim said in his LinkedIn post.

According to Heim, the California facility is also well on its way to being built.

“Naess did what many said was impossible – in the past three years, she led the effort to create a strong foundation for larger scale aquaculture in California,” he said. The company has key permits coming up this summer thanks to hard work with our U.S. team and the many relationships built in California.”

Neither Heim nor Naess elaborated on what the next steps will be for them.

“Summer vacation is now on the menu after four years of hard work in the U.S.” Heim said. “After that, it is time for new challenges.”  

Photo courtesy of Erik Heim/LinkedIn

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