Letters, online only

Sep 05, 2019

Editor's note: The following letter is a response to a letter published in the Sept. 5, 2019, issue of The Republican Journal.

Nordic has not misled Legislature or DEP about fish escape

There have been repeated statements published regarding Nordic Aquafarms lying to and misleading a state of Maine Legislative Committee and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection regarding fish escape from land-based aquaculture facilities. As we have stated publicly before, depending on the facility and location it is possible for fish to escape from land-based facilities. There have been only a few examples of such escapes over the years, though.

Nordic Aquafarms has designed an escape-proof facility in Belfast, as shown on several occasions in media and at public information meetings. The facility is also placed several hundred feet away from any body of water.

At the legislative hearing on Feb. 28 for LD 620, at 1.35:16, Sen. Black asked me if it was possible for any fish to escape our proposed Belfast facility. My answer was a clear NO. The link to the hearing and my answer is below:


Marianne Naess

Nordic Aquafarms Inc.

Editor's note: The following letter, received Sept. 6, is a response to Marianne Naess' letter above.

We simply do not know

The Sept. 5 online letter by Marianne Naess regarding fish escapes from land-based fish farms in general, and Nordic Aquafarms' proposed Belfast fish farm in particular, is misleading. In her letter, Naess says, "Nordic Aquafarms has designed an escape-proof facility in Belfast, as shown on several occasions in media and at public information meetings. The facility is also placed several hundred feet away from any body of water."  But the "public meetings" Naess cites were all sponsored by Nordic Aquafarms, hardly an objective party; and favorable media coverage of Nordic has largely been regurgitation of Nordic's press releases. As for Nordic's facility being placed "several hundred feet from any body of water," fish don't escape from land-based industrial fish farms by jumping out of tanks and walking, driving or hitchhiking to open water. They escape through tears in filters for discharge pipes.

We simply do not know whether fish would be able to escape from Nordic's big and highly experimental Belfast fish farm. We do know that Nordic Aquafarms has no experience running an industrial fish farm anywhere near the size of what it proposes for Belfast.  We know that filters tear. We know that large numbers of fish have escaped from other land-based industrial fish farms. And we have no reason to believe that Nordic's proposed Belfast factory would be any different. Thus it was at a minimum misleading for Naess to tell the legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry that it is not possible for fish to escape in discharge from industrial land-based fish farms such as what Nordic proposes for Belfast.

Lawrence Reichard

East Orland

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Comments (4)
Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 11, 2019 19:34

Hey Ralphie, you should talk. You're so far back in the woods that you probably have your own still to brew that moonshine to support your habit of 3 drinks a day will keep the doctor away. Speaking of away, have you seen those Belfast lights yet cuz you'll need them to find your outhouse.

Posted by: Ralph Stanley | Sep 11, 2019 19:08

A couple of drunks with an attitude.

Posted by: Eric Schrader | Sep 11, 2019 10:04

You're too kind to Larry. He now lives in East Orland, that thriving metropolis off of US1. I guess he got tired of harassing Belfast. Hopefully, they don't have internet access there.

Posted by: Steven Hutchings | Sep 11, 2019 09:09

NEWS ALERT  2021    Salmon at Nordic Aquafarms staged a massive breakout.  A band of genetically altered  Salmon have sprouted legs and once escaping the holding pens overpowered the guards and ran in mass across Rt 1 to make a final desperate escape into the open ocean. Unfortunately they forgot to look both ways and were squished by traffic. One salmon did manage to make it across but was arrested for trespassing on private mudflats, thus resulting in a variety of  insensitive, politically incorrect jokes that all started "why did the salmon cross the street?"

Absurd you say?? No more than the fantasies that Mr. Reichard writes about in his  letters that are full of delusions and lies and have absolutely no references since they come out of his mind. It has been rumored that he was a major  writer for the TV series: "Lost in Space" Dude get a life on this planet

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