Mariculture workshop kicks off in Kodiak

The Kodiak Archipelago Leadership Institute is offering a free, two-day workshop “Introduction to Mariculture in the Kodiak Region,” funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For the past three years, the institute has worked with partners to establish small farms in the communities of Larsen Bay, Old Harbor, Ouzinkie and Port Lions.

Kelp drying at Kodiak Island WildSource. Photo by Chris Sannito.

The conference, which starts tomorrow and runs through Wednesday, provides a place for the public to learn about the opportunities and challenges presented by mariculture, an emerging industry in Alaska. It will also provide networking opportunities with researchers, mariculture farmers and agency personnel.

Quentin Fong, seafood marketing specialist with Alaska Sea Grant, will give a synopsis of the seaweed market and how it relates to Kodiak.

Alaska Sea Grant’s Chris Sannito, seafood technology specialist, will speak about kelp and development consideration. And our paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) expert, Julie Matweyou, will talk about PSP and its impacts on establishing viable shellfish farms in the Kodiak region.

Julie Matweyou (left) studies paralytic shellfish poisoning. Photo by Paula Dobbyn

“PSP will likely impact the business and marketing model for any potential grower. I’ll present data and discuss toxin distribution, give an overview of the biotoxin plan for bivalve shellfish, and share resources to support growth of the industry,” Matweyou said.

The workshop agenda is here.