Sunday, February 10, 2019

Massive Fish Farm Proposed for Pulp Mill Site (Video)

Posted By on Sun, Feb 10, 2019 at 1:40 PM

A rendering of the Belfast, Maine, facility. - NORDIC AQUAFARMS
  • Nordic Aquafarms
  • A rendering of the Belfast, Maine, facility.
The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District and Norwegian company Nordic Aquafarms are set to formally sign a lease Monday for the development of a massive fish farm at the former Samoa Pulp Mill.

According to the harbor district, the project will include “the removal of all remaining deteriorating buildings and unutilized infrastructure” at the 30-acre property, which was the site of a multi-agency clean-up effort in 2014 to avert a looming catastrophic environmental disaster on the edge of Humboldt Bay.

Read previous Journal coverage about the removal of nearly 3 million gallons of caustic pulping liquors abandoned in failing storage tanks by Evergreen Pulp here, here and here.

The proposed project is forecast to “result in the investment of hundreds of millions dollars in the local economy,” the harbor district’s release states.

According to a report in seafood business publication Undercurrent, the project “represents a potential $400 million investment,” bringing around 80 jobs. Eventually, the article states, plans are to produce some 25,000 tons of fish a year at the facility.

In a Facebook post linking to the article, harbor district Commissioner Richard Marks described the fish farm as a nearly half-billion-dollar project, writing that “new construction will bring many hardhats to the area and then many high end Fishery jobs for biologists form Humboldt State.”

A land-based aquaculture facility – likely producing salmon or steelhead – the venture will serve as the West Coast base of operations for Nordic Aquafarms, which is currently in the process of developing an East Coast equivalent in Belfast, Maine, according to the company.

The facility will use what is known as recirculating aquaculture system, or RAS, which utilizes large tanks and water treatment systems in raising the fish. The company says the method prevents many of the common concerns associated with farm fishing in offshore pens, including pollution from waste, chemical use and the potential to pass on diseases and parasites to wild fish.

Nordic Aquafarms Concept from Netron on Vimeo.

“We will now be situated on both coasts, which fits into our strategy of locating fish farms close to major regional markets,” said Marianne Naess, Nordic’s commercial director, in a release. “The Humboldt location will enable us to reach more than 50 million people within a 12-hour drive or less, which reduces the cost and environmental impact of transportation while supplying the market with super-fresh, sustainably raised local fish.”

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fair Factor

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 3:50 PM

Majestic food stall flags in the wind. - FILE
  • File
  • Majestic food stall flags in the wind.
Editor’s note: It’s official — the Humboldt County Fair is back. To help our readers prep for what many see as the most important fair experience — the food — here’s a look back at a 2015 walk through of edible attractions at the Ferndale tradition.

You can smell the fryers from the parking lot as you stumble through the lumpy pasture toward the whirring rides and tinny pop music playing on the other side of the turnstiles. Once inside the Humboldt County Fair, the maze of traveling food stands and the barrage of signs for jumbo and beer battered everything can overwhelm. How do you best use the limited real estate in your belly and will you be able to keep it down if you hop on the Tilt-a-Whirl?

Here are some of the heaviest hitters scored 1-5 for three criteria: fair factor, or how on-theme the food is; value, the cost vs. satisfaction and/or bragging rights, keeping in mind that most prices are slightly inflated at these things; and fair tummy, the gentlest way to describe how much this treat is going to hurt you, especially on the Gravitron.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

What Are You Doing This Weekend?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 3:01 PM

Get out and see the redwoods. - FILE
  • FILE
  • Get out and see the redwoods.
Editor’s note: With a weekend forecast of a balmy 70 degrees along the coast while hitting close to 100 inland, now seems like a good time to dust off our look at perfect summer trips from the spring 2014 Insider magazine.

Weather aside: The National Weather Service Office in Eureka reports there is a slight chance of thunderstorms this afternoon — 20 percent — throughout the greater Humboldt County region.

Meanwhile, if you are starting to form some plans for the next couple of days, check out the suggestions below. Happy summer.

So, did you pack your hiking boots or a sketchpad? Are you scoping out galleries or restaurants (or both)? Are you looking for a little history, or just hoping to wear out the kids? Whether you're searching for trailheads or artisanal breads, we've got you covered with customized itineraries so you can coast through your trip to the North Coast.

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Planned EBT Card Outage This Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 2:08 PM

The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services is reaching out to let residents who use electronic benefit transfer cards, or EBTs, know they will not be able to use their accounts for a 24-hour period this weekend due to a statewide upgrade.

Holders will not be able to buy food or get cash with the cards from 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 to 11 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, and are advised to “plan ahead,” according to the release.

For more information, visit

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Remembering Curley Tait, Ferndale Legend

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 3:56 PM

Friends and family gathered at Belotti Hall in Ferndale May 20 to celebrate the life of Robert "Curley" Tait, a former model and Chicago blues nightclub owner who for much of his life was well known and well loved for his restaurant, Curley's Bar and Grill, which served California-style favorites for 16 years in Ferndale. The restaurant closed in 2011, re-opening briefly at a new location in Fortuna, but according to Tait's obituary, the spunky octogenarian — who had open heart surgery in 2001 — had found other hobbies, including teaching a Jazzercise class.

Tait, who died  at home in Ferndale on May 1o, was immortalized in this 2000 Journal cover story, which details his origins as a dishwasher in his family's Evanston, Illinois, restaurant who went on to manage famous '60's pop band Spanky and Our Gang. After that chapter of his life closed and his marriage began to fray from the pressures of life on the road, he landed in Ferndale by chance, opening a restaurant at the then-empty Victorian Inn in 1970. That enterprise didn't last but Tait went on to build a career as a local restaurateur, managing The Brewery, opening a French seafood restaurant called "Tango" and managing Arcata stalwarts Abruzzi and Plaza Grill. Between restaurant booms he raised Arabian horses in Ferndale.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Still no Crab

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 4:22 PM

The crab, the state says, are still not ready. - C. JUHASZ/CDFW WEBSITE
  • C. Juhasz/CDFW website
  • The crab, the state says, are still not ready.
Another round of testing shows that local Dungeness crab are still not filled out enough, prompting a second delay for the commercial season in Humboldt, Mendocino and Del Norte counties.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today that the opener has been pushed back to Dec. 31 and may not end up starting until after New Year’s, depending results from another set of quality tests scheduled for next week.

“Additional testing will be scheduled to occur by Dec. 22,” the release states. “If quality remains low, an additional delay until Jan. 15, 2018 will be issued by the director. This date is the latest the season can be delayed due to quality testing.”

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Locally Delicious Guidebook Drops

Posted By on Thu, May 11, 2017 at 4:55 PM

  • Local Food Guide cover

The mantra of "eat local," isn’t just hipster folly — it's a critically important act of resistance against the corporate takeover of our diets, our bodies and our health. A dollar spent on local, sustainably grown food supports family-owned farms, reduces petrol dependency, can reduce the chemical contamination of your food and reinvests your money in the North Coast economy. Still, whether it’s fighting the convenience of living five minutes from Safeway or not finding cash in the budget for the farmer’s market, the challenge of eating local is real.

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Monday, February 27, 2017

TL;DR: Last Night at Roy's

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 9:47 AM

The neon sign at Roy's, now dark. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The neon sign at Roy's, now dark.
Busy week? We get it. Here are some highlights from this week's cover story, “Last Night at Roy's,” to get you caught up.

If you noticed the smell of garlic and the glow of neon missing from D Street in Old Town, it's because Roy's Club Italian Restaurant has finally closed, ending the Fanucchi family's 98-year run. For our cover story "Last Night at Roy's," we pulled up a barstool for the long goodbyes and soaked up the stories of gangsters and bootleggers as family, friends and patrons gathered for a last supper.

Here are five takeaways (and a bonus challenge) from our farewell to the speakeasy-turned-landmark.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Food Sovereignty, Tribal Sovereignty

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Potawot Community Garden farm stand. - COURTESY OF POTAWOT COMMUNITY GARDEN, UIHS
  • Courtesy of Potawot Community Garden, UIHS
  • Potawot Community Garden farm stand.
When the Northern California Tribal Courts Coalition (NCTCC) was awarded a grant to improve tribal health last year, it didn’t hesitate in identifying food as the keystone. Spearheaded by Program Director Cynthia Boshell, NCTCC will roll out its first Tribal Youth Food Sovereignty Camps later this month. The all-day camps will consist of hands-on education, discussion and participation in growing and cooking native foods. In order to serve youth on the coast and inland, the camp will be repeated on consecutive days: Wednesday, Feb. 22 in Potawot; Thursday, Feb. 23 in Klamath and Friday, Feb. 24 in Orleans.

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Crab: No Guts, No Worries

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 1:37 PM

From the CDFW website. - C. JUHASZ
  • C. Juhasz
  • From the CDFW website.
You can start planning Christmas dinner — the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is opening recreational Dungeness crabbing all over California starting Saturday, Nov. 5. Mind you, the California Department of Health warns seafood lovers in Humboldt and other areas north of Marin County not to consume the guts "due to the sporadic detection of elevated levels of domoic acid in the viscera of Dungeness crabs." You remember domoic acid, that nasty toxin that more or less destroyed our last commercial crab season, which didn't open until May, and threatens consumers with nausea, vomiting and even death. So just melted butter, no "crab butter" for us. If you can't wait for commercial season to open but don't have your own boat, you might try dropping pots from the dock or by kayak.

Read the full CDFW press release below.
Recreational Dungeness Crab Season to Open Statewide Nov. 5
The recreational Dungeness crab season is scheduled to open statewide on Saturday, Nov. 5 — with a health warning in place for crabs caught north of Point Reyes (Marin County).

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued a warning to recreational anglers not to consume the viscera (internal organs) of Dungeness crab caught in coastal waters north of Point Reyes due to the sporadic detection of elevated levels of domoic acid in the viscera of Dungeness crabs caught off the northern California coast.

The health warning is effective for recreationally caught Dungeness crabs taken from state waters north of Latitude 38° 00' N. (near Point Reyes). CDPH believes that Dungeness crab meat is safe to consume, however, as a precaution, consumers are advised not to eat the viscera (also known as "butter" or "guts") of crabs. CDPH further recommends recreational anglers follow best preparation practices to ensure that they avoid any inadvertent exposure to domoic acid that might be sporadically found in some crab's viscera.

Domoic acid is a naturally occurring toxin related to a "bloom" of certain single-celled algae. Fish and shellfish are capable of accumulating elevated levels of domoic acid in their tissue, which can sicken people who eat them. Last fall and winter, domoic acid along the West Coast interrupted Dungeness and rock crab fisheries from Santa Barbara to the Oregon state line. This year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will continue to work with CDPH and the fishing community to collect crab samples from the northern California coast until the domoic acid levels have dissipated.

Consult the CDPH biotoxin information line at (800) 553-4133 or CDPH's Domoic Acid Health Information webpage for more information.

CDFW reminds crabbers of new regulations that became effective on Aug. 1, 2016. For a complete description of the regulations, please go to and click on "New Recreational Dungeness Crab Fishery Regulations" in the Announcements box.

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