Nordic Aquafarms proposes to build a land-based fish farm at the former Samoa pulp mill that they say would use a mixture of fresh and salt water to raise 27,000 metric tons of Atlantic Salmon, discharging 12.5 million gallons of effluent daily through the existing 1½-mile long ocean outfall. Bay intakes would supply 10 mgd saltwater, while 2mgd freshwater would be supplied by the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. Remodeling the former pulp mill would include removing the smokestack and other asbestos- and lead-laden structures, debris, and contaminated soil.
Click HERE for our comments on the Draft EIR, submitted on behalf of Humboldt Baykeeper, Surfrider Foundation, EPIC, NEC, 350 Humboldt, Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities, Save Our Salmon, and Sierra Club - Feb. 18, 2022.
Click HERE for our initial statement on the proposed land-based fish farm - 2019.
Nordic Aquafarms announced a switch to yellowtail kingfish at the company’s proposed facility in Humboldt Bay. Formerly, the company was planning to farm Atlantic salmon.The company anticipates the aquafarm will “start smaller” than what was projected for Atlantic salmon, and the farm will use less freshwater and energy than previous designs.This is following years of permitting work to get the project off the ground and a number of concerns raised from environmental groups.“From the Baykeeper perspective, this is an improvement — partly just based on the sheer size of the thing, but also a lot of the concerns with Atlantic salmon will go away with this new species,” said Jennifer Kalt, executive director of Humboldt Baykeeper.Questions have been raised about bringing Atlantic salmon to the region, which is not native to California. Kalt noted there has never been a permit in California to raise Atlantic salmon. Competition with local salmon fishermen and a lack of state-approved egg sources are no longer considerations for the farm, which would grow a species of fish eaten as sashimi.Local environmental groups have yet to see updated plans that detail these changes.The company still needs permits from the regional water board for discharge and intake, one from the California Coastal Commission, and one from the Army Corps of Engineers.“A lot of people are really concerned about the nutrient discharge into the ocean. It would give a lot of people a lot more confidence that it can be done without harming the ocean and environment if they start on a small scale and we can see how it operates,” said Kalt.Read More
The proposed Nordic Aquafarms California fish farm project on the Samoa Peninsula lurched forward Aug. 28 as the Board of Supervisors, at the end of a nine-hour meeting, voted unanimously, with Fifth District Supervisor Steve Madrone absent, to reject an appeal of the project's environmental impact report and grant the company three necessary permits. But the board's action came with some conditions: The company must produce an annual "sustainability report" to track its greenhouse emissions — including those caused by fish food consumption and its fleet of delivery trucks — and it must hold an annual forum to discuss issues that have arisen during the year, while donating a minimum of $25,000 yearly to an "appropriate community project."In addition, the project's construction must proceed in two phases, and the second phase cannot begin until the first — which includes cleaning and remediating the polluted site it will occupy — is satisfactorily completed.Nordic is still a long way from breaking ground. It must get additional permits from the California Coastal Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, the National Marine Fisheries and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before it can proceed.Read More
Two weeks after the Humboldt County Planning Commission certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for Nordic Aquafarms’ planned land-based fish factory on the Samoa Peninsula, the decision is being appealed to the Board of Supervisors. Leaders of three local nonprofits — the Redwood Region Audubon Society Chapter, the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association and 350 Humboldt — submitted a letter to the supervisors and to John Ford, the county’s director of planning and building, initiating the appeal. The letter alleges that the environmental report, which was prepared for the county by local engineering firm GHD, violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by understating several of the project’s impacts, including its greenhouse gas emissions, its energy use and the threats it poses to commercial fisheries and coastal and bay ecosystems. Read More
Near the end of a roughly seven-hour special meeting on Wednesday, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors denied an appeal of the environmental report regarding Nordic Aquafarms’ proposed fish farm on the Samoa Peninsula.The supervisors voted 4-0 with 4th District Supervisor Steve Madrone absent to deny the appeal brought forward by the Redwood Region Audubon Society, 350 Humboldt and the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association who argued that the recently certified environmental impact report inadequately analyzed the scope of several project elements including greenhouse gas emissions and biological concerns.Read More
Last week, the Humboldt County Planning Commission unanimously voted to certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and issue a coastal development permit to Nordic Aquafarms California, LLC, a subsidiary of Norway-based Nordic Aquafarms, which intends to build a 766,530-square-foot recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility on the Samoa Peninsula.After the decision, we reached out to a number of leaders of local environmental organizations who have criticized the project to ask for their responses. To a person, they deferred commenting until after meeting yesterday morning to discuss the matter. Yesterday evening they emailed a joint media statement, which we’ve published below. Read More