Nordic Aquafarms exec fired after photo surfaces of him posing with lion he killed

Published on
January 10, 2020

Nordic Aquafarms Inc. – which is planning to construct a salmon recirculating aquaculture system in both Belfast, Maine and Humboldt County, California  has fired Shawn Harriman just one week after he was hired after photos of him posing next to a lion he killed surfaced online.

Harriman was recently hired to be the senior vice president of projects at Nordic Aquafarms California, the West Coast subsidiary of the company formed to manage the Humboldt County Project. However, a photo of Harriman posing next to a lion he had shot and killed resurfaced and was sent to local media publication the Lost Coast Outpost.

Upon receiving the photo, the Lost Coast sent it to representatives at Nordic Aquafarms, who investigated the photo and then subsequently fired Harriman.

Nordic’s Commercial Director Marianne Naess released a statement announcing the termination soon after the photo was sent to the company.

“We have just been made aware of unfortunate circumstances pertaining to Shawn Harriman, who was recently hired as SVP Projects for Nordic Aquafarms in California,” Naess’ statement reads. “We want our Humboldt County partners and the community to know that we take any concerns regarding our values or stewardship of natural resources very seriously and therefore we had no choice but to terminate our relationship with Shawn.”

According to the Lost Coast Outpost, Harriman confirmed that it was him in the photo.

“What I did 15 years ago is not necessarily what I do today,” he told the publication.“It’s a different life in Africa.” 

Harriman added to the paper that the photo is not an example of trophy hunting. 

"We were down on a ranch and the lion charged us," he said of the photo, which he told the publication was taken in South Africa. 

Naess said that the company’s stance on animal welfare is what led to the decision to terminate Harriman.

“Over the last two weeks we have learned to know Shawn as a very competent and experienced Project Director and we think this situation is unfortunate both for Shawn and Nordic Aquafarms, but our company values will always prevail,” Naess wrote. “Nordic Aquafarms is always guided by the highest animal welfare and environmental values.”

The photo first surfaced online in 2015 to an anti-trophy-hunting blog, before it was subsequently shared on twitter.    

Photo courtesy of Disease of Trophy Hunting

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