BELFAST — The prospect of land-based salmon farming becoming a reality in eastern Maine has taken another step forward.
Last week, Nordic Aquafarms, which plans to grow up to 33,000 tons of Atlantic salmon annually in a recirculating aquaculture facility it will build in Belfast, announced that it has its first U.S. employees.
Last month, Portland-based Whole Oceans announced some new hires for its planned 50,000-ton recirculating aquaculture facility on the site of the former Verso mill in Bucksport.
According to company President Erik Heim, the Norwegian salmon farmer has hired Marianne Naess as director of operations in North America. Carter Cyr has joined Nordic as its first aquaculture employee in Maine.
Naess comes to the company from American health care giant McKesson Corp. Her professional background includes commercial and organizational development work as well as work in the offshore construction industry. She will oversee public relations, marketing and organizational development, among other responsibilities.
Cyr is a Maine native who is moving back to his home state from Florida. He has a master’s degree in aquaculture and will be part of the company’s U.S. production team.
Cyr will assist Nordic with setting up an office in downtown Belfast. This summer, he will spend much of his time in Norway familiarizing himself with the company’s operations.
Next Tuesday, June 12, Nordic will host another public information meeting at 6 p.m. at the Hutchinson Center featuring a panel discussion of “Land-based Aquaculture and the Future of Maine’s Sustainable Seafood Industry.”
Des FitzGerald, founder of the Belfast-based Ducktrap River of Maine smoked fish company and former board chairman of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, will moderate a panel that includes:
- Matt Jacobson, executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Cooperative.
- Anne Hayden, a program manager in the Sustainable Economies Program at Manomet, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to apply science and engage people to sustain our world.
- Paul Anderson, executive director of the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries in Stonington.
- Jason Collins, technical manager for FishVet Group, which supports aquaculture producers around the world through veterinary consultancy and diagnostic technologies.
- Sarah Cook, sales manager for Skretting, a world leader in the manufacture and supply of aquaculture feeds.