Nordic Aquafarms' Fish Factory is NOT a Done Deal

Updated: Sep 14

They Don't Have the Power

Nordic Aquafarms wants the public to believe there’s an urgent need to rebuild Section 80 of the CMP power grid. This costly upgrade is only urgent for Nordic. They need a minimum demand of 28 Megawatts to pump huge amounts of water through the plant. This is equal to the energy use of Belfast, Northport, Lincolnville, Camden, Rockport and Rockland combined.


Nobody wants another increase to their electric bill, and nobody benefits from this power grid expansion except a Norwegian corporation that’s trying to grow fish in the woods.


They Don't Have the Money

Nordic’s permits include one stating they must show “Evidence of Financial Capacity” before starting construction. Throughout the permitting process Nordic referred to their companies in Europe as proof of their enormous success, but Nordic’s European operations have been losing millions every year.


Nordic Aquafarms CEO Bernt-Olav Røttingsnes was quoted in Salmon Business in June 2022 saying “I think it is fair to say the banks still think it is too early to lend to land-based fish farming.”


Nordic has stated from the beginning “once we have the permits we’ll have the money”. They’ve had their permits since December of 2020 but have yet to show evidence of Financial Capacity.


In early July Nordic made the surprise announcement that Nordic’s founder and president Erik Heim and his wife, Executive Vice President Marianne Naess have unexpectedly stepped down. Scrambling to fill the position Nordic tapped Chief Financial Officer Brenda Chandler to take over as interim CEO, she has no previous experience in aquaculture.


They Don't Own the Intertidal

Title, Right and Interest (TRI) in the Intertidal where Nordic wants to put their pipes is still being decided by the judicial system. Upstream has a very strong appeal in place with the Maine Supreme Court regarding ownership of this property. It is possible that oral argument will be scheduled this year, but nothing is certain.



They Don't Have the Water

Nordic requires 657 million gallons a year of fresh water. This water would be drawn from the Belfast water supply at the Goose River aquifer. The record indicates that in order for the Belfast Water District to supply Nordic’s water needs, it’s necessary to put the Talbot Well online. This well isn’t licensed by the state for use as a public water supply. It is within a mile of an old landfill and an active transfer station, and has not been tested for PFAS. Nordic can not run the factory without the Talbot Well.


They Can't Meet the Standards of the Clean Water Act

Our appeal of the BEP permits continues to move slowly through the court. This appeal includes the fact that Nordic’s proposed discharge does not meet the standards of the Clean Water Act. The discharge pipe would be located a half-mile off shore at Brown’s Head in Belfast Bay.


Nitrogen will only be removed to the 85% level. If the factory’s system is preforming at full capacity, they would be discharging 1% every 1/2 hour or 7.7 million gallons daily. This figure is a goal, not a guarantee. Failures in the system may require larger discharge quantities and there are no contingency plans for system failures.


They Haven't Disclosed Their Feed or Egg Sources

American Aquafarms plans for a salmon factory in Frenchman Bay were stopped when the Department of Marine Resources flagged them for planning to use fish eggs that are not from a qualified hatchery. None of the state agencies required this information from Nordic. Nordic also has not disclosed what feed they will use. Fish feed is wreaking havoc on oceans and communities in Africa, South America and India who need this fish. (See our Fish Feed flyer for more details.)


We Can Restore the Bay and Rivers!

Successful river restoration efforts have shown that when dams are removed, native fish and wildlife return in record numbers, introducing new life into ecosystems and communities. We can revive the Midcoast ocean fisheries if we restore and protect the waterways, and support regenerative, local fishing and sustainable aquaculture.


We need to raise $50,000 before the end of 2022.



Not a Done Deal
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