Voters in Belfast on Tuesday turned away three city council hopefuls who all opposed a proposed high-tech onshore salmon farm on the city's shores - instead choosing three who favored the project.
Some in the city saw the election as a referendum on Nordic Aquafarms' proposal, which could add hundreds of millions of dollars to the local tax base but which drew strong opposition from residents concerned about environmental effects, noise and traffic.
City Mayor Samantha Paradis says the city should now be able to move on from questions about whether the project will happen at all, and focus instead on the exact terms for its ultimate approval.
"I think we're going to see a lot of progress in the permitting as we go along, and the council following along that progress, and hopefully ground-breaking next summer," Paradis says.
In a press release, Nordic Aquafarms CEO Erik Heim promised the company would be transparent and collaborative in all aspects of the project. The company's water discharge application is now under review by state environmental regulators.