Local fisherman push back against fish farm near Samoa

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SAMOA, Calif. (KIEM)- Nordic Aquafarms, a company based in Norway, set its eyes on Humboldt County to build an aquaculture fish farm on the Samoa peninsula.

That was a year ago but now there is some push back from local fisherman.

In February of 2019, Nordic signed a lease agreement with the Humboldt Bay Harbor District to build a land-based fish farm at the old Louisiana Pacific mill site in Samoa.

The company has held many public meetings to answer questions about the large project.

It has been over a year now since the project has been announced and many local fisherman still have lots of concerns with this project.

“My job is to feed America a high quality food source and I don’t think this high quality food,” said Brendan Semmes, Owner and Operator of the Marlene Rose Vessel. “So, I’m doing everything I can as an individual to educate my fellow fisherman and the citizens.”

Meantime, Nordic says that the fish that will be raised at this farm will be as healthy as the wild caught fish.

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The company also says that this farm will help bring more fish to the area and also help the local economy.

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“We are bringing jobs to the Humboldt and that’s important,” said Marianne Naess, the Executive Vice President for Nordic Aquafarms Inc. “So, there are a lot of opportunities for jobs for local people here in Humboldt and having a larger company coming in like this is also a catalyst for other business development in the area.”              

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The process for the fish farm is still far from over. Both sides agree more public education needs to happen.