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June 26, 2018

Nordic Aquafarms hires first two employees in Maine for Belfast project

Courtesy / Nordic Aquafarms
Courtesy / Nordic Aquafarms
Nordic Aquafarms has hired David Noyes, left, as chief technology officer, and Carter Cyr as production manager, for its planned land-based salmon farm in Belfast.

About Nordic Aquafarms

Nordic Aquafarms is one of the premier investors and developers in land-based aquaculture internationally, with production facilities in Norway and Denmark. The company is developing sustainable fish farming practices for the future to deliver super fresh high-quality seafood to regional markets, with a low environmental impact. In January, Nordic Aquafarms announced plans for land-based salmon farm in Belfast, Maine, to be built in two phases. Phase 1, with a capacity of 13,000 tons and an estimated value of $150 million, is currently being designed in Norway. Construction is expected to start in 2019, with operations commencing in 2020-21.

About land-based production

Land-based production is a rapidly emerging method for sustainable production of salmon. It is based on indoor production in large tanks, and its benefits include: the ability to recycle and treat water on site to reduce overall water consumption, recycling of waste resources, the prevention of sea lice and parasites, the elimination of fish escape into the sea and co-mingling with wild species, the application of renewable energy concepts, and a shorter distance to market for a high quality, fresh product, reducing the carbon footprint of air and land transport.

Nordic Aquafarms CEO Erik Heim announced that the company has hired its first two employees in Maine as the company prepares to submit applications to local and state authorities later this summer for permits to build a state-of-the-art land-based salmon farm in Belfast.

Both are Maine natives with extensive aquaculture experience.

Carter Cyr, who grew up in Cumberland, has been hired as production manager. Cyr earned a master of science degree in fisheries and aquatic science from the University of Florida, Fort Pierce, in 2017. He was awarded a funded assistantship to complete his graduate studies from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and has been living, studying and working in Florida for the past four years. Cyr also has a bachelor of science degree in marine science from Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.

Cyr's work and research have provided him with a diverse set of skills including fish husbandry, recirculating aquaculture system maintenance and construction, public outreach, data management and quarantine and diagnostic procedures. He has also been engaged in various restoration and conservation efforts. For the past two years, Cyr has worked as an aquaculture biologist at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Cedar Key, Fla.

Cyr recently spent time at Nordic Aquafarms' facility in Norway. Starting July 2 he will be working out of the company's new office in downtown Belfast.

"I'm thrilled to be able to return home to Maine and to put my education and training in aquaculture to work on this exciting project," said Cyr. "Land-based aquaculture is the future of fish farming and the Nordic Aquafarms project in Belfast is leading the way."

Chief technology officer hired

David Noyes of Kenduskeag will join Nordic Aquafarms in October as chief technology officer. Noyes grew up on a small cattle farm in Canaan in a cabin he built with his father and brother from logs off the farm.

Noyes has worked in a variety of engineering and construction jobs over the years, as well as four years in scientific research at the Aquacultural Research Institute at the University of Maine, where he worked with a variety of animals, including Atlantic salmon, and was responsible for designing, building, and troubleshooting and maintaining aquaculture systems for finfish, crustaceans, gastropods and corals.

He earned a bachelor's degree in marine biology from the University of Maine in 2014, and subsequently worked at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor and as operations manager and system lead for Acadia Harvest in Franklin, where he oversaw multiple recirculating aquaculture systems for raising several species of fish.

Since last November he has worked as a laboratory assistant at the National Cold Water Aquaculture Center, USDA Agricultural Research Services, also in Franklin. Noyes and his wife, Lindsay, an eighth-grade science teacher, have two children.

In addition, Noyes is a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard and currently holds the rank of sergeant first class. He deployed to Iraq with the 133rd Engineer Battalion for Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 and spent eight years working in Belfast with the 262nd Engineer Company.

"Nordic Aquafarms is giving me a great opportunity to utilize all the skills I have acquired over the years, along with my extensive RAS experience, right here in Maine," said Noyes. "This project is going to create career opportunities for many other Maine people, and I am excited to be a part of it."

More hires planned as project progresses

"We are very fortunate to have David and Carter be the first to join our team in Maine," said Heim. "They bring significant aquaculture experience to our project, as well as a strong Maine work ethic and can-do attitude. We have already heard from many people who want to work with us, and we are looking forward to providing similar opportunities to others next year."

Heim said that Nordic Aquafarms will gradually build up its workforce in the coming year as the project progresses from permitting to construction to becoming operational.

Phase 1 of the project, expected to be completed in 2020-2021, will employ more than 50 people at a variety of skill levels, growing to more than 100 employees as the facility is fully built out several years from now.

Read more

Nordic Aquafarms acquires additional land in Belfast

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