Nordic AquaFarms proposes to build a land-based fish farm at the former Samoa pulp mill that they say would use a mixture of fresh and salt water to raise 27,000 metric tons of Atlantic Salmoon, discharging 12.5 million gallons of effluent daily through the existing 1½-mile long ocean outfall. Bay intakes would supply 10 mgd saltwater, while 2mgd freshwater would be supplied by the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District. Remodeling the former pulp mill would include removing the smokestack and other asbestos- and lead-laden structures, debris, and contaminated soil. 

Click HERE for our scoping comments submitted for the Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report on behalf of Humboldt Baykeeper, Surfrider Foundation, EPIC, NEC - July 6, 2021.

Click HERE for our comments on the Regional Water Board's draft NPDES permit on behalf of Humboldt Baykeeper, Surfrider Foundation, and EPIC - June 4, 2021.

Click HERE for our comments on the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration submitted on behalf of Humboldt Baykeeper, Surfrider Foundation, EPIC, NEC, 350 Humboldt, and Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities - May 24, 2021.

Click HERE for our initial (2019) statement on the proposed land-based fish farm. 

We will continue to watchdog Nordic AquaFarms’ proposal, and will keep our members and the community informed of opportunities for input. To receive updates, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In response to news from Nordic Aquafarms and Humboldt County that the county will pursue a full environmental impact report for the proposed fish farm, a coalition of North Coast environmental organizations thank the company and county for listening to community concern and their commitment to rigorous environmental review.
“Our organizations called for the preparation of an environmental impact report because we believed that this project—which is unlike anything seen before in Humboldt County or even the state of California — could benefit from more thorough environmental impact review and public participation,” said Jennifer Kalt, director of Humboldt Baykeeper.

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In terms of sheer size, Nordic Aquafarms’ land-based aquaculture facility, slated for construction on the Samoa Peninsula, would be the largest development project Humboldt County has seen for decades, maybe since the heyday of the timber industry. The facility’s five buildings — including two massive production modules where Atlantic salmon would be raised inside fully-contained recirculating tanks — would total 766,530 square feet, nearly an acre larger than the footprint of the Bayshore Mall.

It’s been more than two years since the Norwegian company announced its ambitious plans, and the environmental review period was scheduled to wrap up this week. The county, as lead agency, released its initial study last month: hundreds of pages of analysis capped by a conclusion that with mitigation measures the fish farm would have no significant adverse environmental effects. A 30-day period for the public to review the study and submit comments concluded Monday.

But in a surprise twist, Nordic executives this week announced that they will subject the project to yet more review, going above and beyond the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. 
 
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Comments are due May 24 on Humboldt County’s review of the environmental impacts of Nordic AquaFarms’ proposed land-based fish factory. The project would involve redeveloping nearly 36 acres at the former pulp mill in Samoa to produce 73 million pounds of fish per year. Twelve million gallons of treated wastewater would be released into the ocean daily, 1.5-miles from shore. Most of that water would come from Humboldt Bay, with up to 3 million gallons/day coming from the Mad River through existing pipelines. 

Humboldt Baykeeper, Surfrider Foundation, EPIC, the Northcoast Environmental Center, the Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities and 350 Humboldt are teaming up to review and comment on the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration. 

Is a massive land-based fish factory the best next chapter for a former pulp mill nestled between Humboldt Bay and the Pacific Ocean? Tune in to hear local environmental leaders discuss Humboldt County’s assessment of the impacts Nordic AquaFarms proposed fish factory might have on the bay, ocean, wildlife and climate – and ways to avoid or mitigate them.