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Planners reported to have approved California salmon RAS

An illustration of the proposed salmon RAS on a brownfield site on the Samoa Peninsula, Humboldt County, in northern California. Image: Nordic Aquafarms.
An illustration of the proposed salmon RAS on a brownfield site on the Samoa Peninsula, Humboldt County, in northern California. Image: Nordic Aquafarms.

Nordic Aquafarms’ plan to build a 33,000-tonnes-per-year on-land salmon farm on the Samoa peninsula in Humboldt County, northern California, has been approved by planners, it has been reported.

California business news blogger John Chiv stated on his site that there was a “unanimous vote for Nordic Aquafarms” at a meeting of the County of Humboldt Planning Commission, which began at 6pm local time yesterday (3am Friday CET).

Nordic began applying for permits for the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in August 2020. Approval from planners would be a significant step forward for the project, but there is more work to be done.

‘Far from the final thumbs-up’

In a preview of the planning meeting, Humboldt news website Lost Post Outpost (LoCO), wrote: “Whichever way it goes, this will be far from the final thumbs-up or -down on the project: Apart from a potential or even likely appeal to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, Nordic Aquafarms still has to run the gauntlet to get various permits from the state of California.”

Fish Farming expert has contacted Norway-based Nordic for confirmation of last night’s decision.

Nordic already has full permission to build a 33,000-tonne RAS in Belfast, Maine, on the eastern coast of the US, and aims to start construction next year.

The company currently operates a yellowtail kingfish RAS facility in Denmark, and a RAS facility in Fredrikstad, south of Oslo in Norway. Nordic has produced harvest-sized salmon in the facility but has chosen to switch to kingfish, which fetch a better price.