No. By raising our fish on land, with robust wastewater treatment systems in place, Nordic solves the issues associated with net pens. Following their scientific review of our application, the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) has written a letter of support for this project, which concludes that there will be little impact from our farm and that it will contribute to taking pressure off wild salmon populations. Our biosecurity and fish escape measures are foremost in the industry, and therefore will not affect wild salmon locally.
No. Our wastewater system removes 99% of phosphorous, total suspended solids, and biochemical oxygen demand, and 90% of the nitrogen in the effluent. The residual discharge is going into a bay containing trillions of gallons of water- like a drop of water in a bucket. Even though we go far beyond current industry standards by removing 90% nitrogen, we do have elevated levels of nitrogen compared to background levels. The residual discharge is, however, less than 1% of the nitrogen already going into the bay. If other current dischargers raised their treatment level to only 50 % of our level, we would see material reductions in nutrient discharge along the entire coastline.
The Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the Conservation Law Foundation have reviewed our application and not found cause for concern. We will remain diligent in contributing to the health of the bay as a part of our environmental stewardship strategy.
No. Extensive pump testing and modeling confirmed this and the groundwater levels at our facility and the surrounding neighborhood will be under continuous monitoring. Nordic has further agreed to make whole any homeowner who has issues with their well. The overwhelming majority of homes and businesses are served by municipal water, with only a handful of homes still employing wells. We rely on freshwater for our fish and have three different available sources. The site we chose is unique in that the impoundment of the Little River previously supplied the drinking water for the city of Belfast and Northport for close to a century. We have been permitted the use of multiple ground water wells, withdrawal of water from the reservoir, and can use municipal water supplied by the Belfast water district. This allows us sufficient flexibility to balance which water supply we use.
Lastly, the facility will employ seawater for most of its processes.
The extensive data collection and secondary assessments done by an additional environmental consultancy conclude that our proposed withdrawal will not have negative effects on the overall health of the watershed area in Belfast. It also concludes that other local wells are safe. We will have fully transparent monitoring practices in place to give assurances to the community in the future.
Our facilities are escape-proof. The Belfast facility will be a minimum 300 feet from any open water source. Multiple mechanical barriers are in place to prevent escape in pipes. For example, our final ultra-filtration step on the discharge treatment is 0.04 micron – small enough to remove bacteria.
No, Nordic does not have any plans to use GMO fish. Based on practices and knowledge of consumers in our market at least, our decision is we will not pursue that. Genetically engineered fish are not part of the plan.
The nutritional requirements of the fish can be met with a broad range of ingredients that are derived from crops, agricultural byproduct, and sustainable fisheries. More innovative break-through ingredients include fermented single cell proteins, insect meals, and algae oils.
Currently, feed contains approximately 15-20% marine ingredients, where 35% of that are primarily sourced from fisheries processing by-product such as heads and trimmings. The rest comes from sustainably managed fisheries.
Feed manufacturing for aquaculture is an innovative, and sustainable-minded industry. Nordic will be working closely with the feed producers to refine our formulations that prioritize the inclusion of non-marine derived protein sources.