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Note: factory rendering does not include 8 proposed 60' smokestacks or parking lot
Nordic Aquafarms
What concerns us about the Nordic Aquafarms' proposal?

Nordic Aquafarms, Inc. proposes to turn 50 acres of maturing, carbon sequestering woodlands and wetlands into an industrial-scale, land-based, salmon-raising operation.  

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has aptly named such facilities “Concentrated Aquatic Animal Production” facilities or “CAAPs.”  

Nordic’s proposed facility cannot be called a “farm” by any reasonable definition of that term.  If constructed, it would be a completely artificial environment for the controlled production of Atlantic Salmon – from eggs, to fry, to smolts, to adults – at the rate of 33,000 metric tons (72 million pounds) per year. The technology behind this concept – called “RAS” (re-circulating aquaculture system) is not the best available technology and presents numerous serious environmental problems.  

Upstream Watch and the Maine Lobstering Union have filed formal comments with Maine regulators laying out a long series of concerns that need to be addressed before Nordic can operate, not after.

Upstream has spent almost three years researching this technology, and the specifics of Nordic's applications. Despite the massive size of this proposed factory, several large environmental groups endorsed the project immediately without actual permit data to base their decisions on. With the exception of Maine Sierra Club, other groups have remained conspicuously silent, or latched onto the deceptive marketing that Big Aqua is the only option before us.

​We believe that standing for the health of the land, waters and community starts with asking questions—tough questions—and demanding answers. Upstream Watch believes it is unconscionable, in this time of climatic breakdown and extinction, to not thoroughly

examine the immediate and long-term ecological, social and


economic consequences of all of our decisions, especially those that put so much at risk.


As the natural world unravels, and the production of food is controlled by fewer and fewer multi-billion dollar corporations, we believe it is our moral, ethical and intergenerational duty to demand viable, ecologically sustainable alternatives, the restoration of the rivers, bays, wetlands and forests, and the empowerment of local fishermen and women, and family run, restorative aquaculture businesses.


Below, is a summary of some of the most serious issues. Please see our Research page for more in-depth material.

Additional Issues Include:

  • Air pollution from the eight diesel generators, each with a 67 foot smoke stack (called “chimneys" because Belfast does not have a smoke stake ordinance).

  • Destruction to the Bay's Blue Carbon sequestration potential.

  • Destruction and pollution of lobster and fishing grounds.

  • The absence of any details concerning jobs, wages and exact types of employment.

  • The factory has an estimated 30-year life span. There's no exit plan strategy and no funds for decommissioning.

  • Tax assessments and revenue are unknown.

  • Unknown risk of fresh water pollution from landfill in Swanville.

  • Unknown impact on Little River from water extraction.

  • Unknown impacts on dams, including the fact that the dam above the site is at risk of failure, and "poses a risk to human life" according to Maine State Dam Inspector.

  • No proof of financial capacity.

  • Permit violations at Norwegian facilities.

  • Road construction and traffic impacts.

  • Noise and odor pollution.

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