A group has recently launched to advocate for a controversial proposed land-based salmon farm in Belfast.
The residents, calling themselves “The Fish Are Okay,” formed a few months ago, according to Trudy Miller, one of the founding members. Miller says it came as a response to months of local opposition to the project.
A group called “Local Citizens for Smart Growth” has fought the proposed farm over concerns about its effect on the environment and water supply. The project has also faced a legal challenge from some residents.
Miller says her group formed to show public support for the project, which they say could boost the area’s economy while still protecting the environment.
“We want the wider public to understand that there are a lot of people that feel that way locally,” she says. “Increase awareness of the fact that we think this is a good thing. And we need to counter the other narrative.”
The group has already put up several lawn signs and is planning a forum later this month to talk about the proposed salmon farm. The 54-acre, $500 million Belfast project, from the company Nordic Aquafarms, would produce up to 33,000 metric tons of salmon per year, and is one of several land-based salmon farms in various stages of development in the state.