Industry update News Management
Nordic Aquafarms parts ways with newly hired exec over damning photo

January 10, 2020
By Nestor Arellano

Photo courtesy of The Lost Coast Outpost

Norwegian aquaculture company, Nordic Aquafarms has had to fire a recently appointed executive after a 15-year-old photograph of him posing with a dead African lion surfaced online.

It was just a week ago that Shawn Harriman was named the first executive to be hired by Nordic Aquafarms for the land-based aquaculture facility it is developing in Humboldt County in California.

Earlier today, the company confirmed to RASTech that it has terminated Harriman.

“We have just been made aware of unfortunate circumstances pertaining to Shawn Harriman, who was recently hired as SVP Projects for Nordic Aquafarms in California,” a statement from the company said.

Shawn Harriman

“We want our Humboldt County partners and the community to know that we take any concerns regarding our values or stewardship of natural resources very seriously and therefore we had no choice but to terminate our relationship with Shawn.”

The statement said that during the last two weeks Nordic Aquafarms found Harriman to be “a very competent and experienced project director.”

“…we think this situation is unfortunate both for Shawn and Nordic Aquafarms, but our company values will always prevail. Nordic Aquafarms is always guided by the highest animal welfare and environmental values,” the statement said.

The Lost Coast Outpost said that it was sent the photo of Harriman earlier this week. “…after determining that it was the same Shawn Harriman we reached out to him for a comment.”

The news outfit said Harriman initially declined to give a comment but later acknowledged that it was him on the photograph. Harriman said his wife is Kenyan and that they spent a lot of time in Africa.

“What I did 15 years ago is not necessarily what I do today. It’s a different life in Africa,” the Outpost quoted Harriman as saying.

He also told the Outpost that he did not hunt the lion “We were down on a ranch and the lion charged us.”

Harriman, who has 30 years of experience in the aquaculture industry, was to take the role of senior vice president of the project of Nordic Aquafarms California.

The project entails building a recirculating aquaculture system facility in an old pulp mill in the Samoa peninsula near Eureka in Humboldt County, California. The facility will bring Nordic Aquafarms’ total output in the United States to 50,000 tonnes of salmon per year.