BELFAST, Maine — A proposal to build a $500-million land-based salmon farm here has drawn both broad support and loud opposition from the community, which largely remains divided over the project’s potential to spur economic growth versus the environmental harm it poses to Penobscot Bay and the surrounding area.
Here is a brief primer for those who want to learn more about the project. It by no means should be considered exhaustive, but rather aims to answer common questions about the project.
If you have a question about the project, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The BDN plans to update this article in the future to answer some of those questions.
Nordic Aquafarms 101
Who’s behind this plan and what’s their ultimate goal? Nordic Aquafarms is a Norwegian-owned company that announced plans to build a land-based salmon farm in Belfast in January 2018. The company has facilities in Denmark and Norway, with another one in development in northern California. The Belfast project is designed to be the company’s flagship facility. Its goal is to produce 72.7 million pounds (33,000 metric tons) per year of “safe, high-quality and sustainable seafood” for consumers in the northeastern United States.
Where would the farm be built? Nordic Aquafarms has agreements with the Belfast Water District and two nearby property owners to secure 54 acres on the Little River, on the southern end of the city near the Northport town line. Currently, the land is mostly woods and fields. The company would like to build a total of 10 buildings in two phases at the site.