RASTECH Magazine

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Nordic Aquafarms loses leases for Belfast RAS facility

September 18, 2023  By  Nestor Arellano

A digital rendering of Nordic Aquafarms’ planned RAS facility in Belfast, Maine. (Image: Nordic Aquafarms)

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands recently rescinded two land leases vital to Nordic Aquafarm’s plans to build a US$ 500 million recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) facility in Belfast.

Nordic Aquafarms needed the land to clear a path to a stretch of intertidal land to run the intake and outfall pipes for the facility to and from Penobscot Bay. The move by the bureau is the latest in a string of hurdles the aquaculture project faces.

The company continues to face opposition from environmental conservation groups seeking to block the planned land-based fish farm.


The publication, the Maine Public reported that the Friends of Harriet L. Hartley Conservation Area, also wants the Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) to re-examine its permit process.

“Look at the information and legal decision that’s been made about whether or Nordic had sufficient title, right, and interest to make a valid application for its submerged lands lease. We would hope that the BEP would rescind the permits that it issued in 2020,” Andy Stevenson, spokesman for the group, said in an interview with the Maine Public.

Nordic Aquafarms spokesperson Jacki Cassida told Maine Public that the company will likely reapply for the rescinded leases.

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