letter to the editor

So much for good neighbors, so much for open doors

Wed, 11/16/2022 - 11:30am

On September 12, I sent a perfectly polite snail mail letter to Nordic Aquafarms Bernt Olav Røttingsnes at his office in Fredrikstad, Norway. In the letter I expressed my concern that the vast $500 million industrial fish farm Nordic wants to build here in my home of Belfast would destroy a sizable portion of a popular hiking trail and 56 beautiful acres of mature forest, wetlands and the habitat of at least one threatened species, the extraordinary bobolink bird.

I also pointed out that all of Nordic's existing plants and the plant it wants to build in California are all located, or would be located, in existing industrial infrastructures and thus did not, and would not, destroy any beautiful natural places.

For fully four and a half years now Nordic has said it wants to be "a good neighbor" here in Belfast. For all that time Nordic has said it welcomes public comment, questions and concerns, and that its door is always open. Well, I sent my letter to Mr. Røttingsnes fully 64 days ago, and I have received no response. So much for good neighbors. So much for open doors.

One thing I did not say in my letter is that I for one would never go to his country and destroy 56 acres of his country's beautiful natural heritage for my own personal profit or that of anyone else.I wish I had.

Lawrence Reichard lives in Belfast