UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS

Alaska Sea Grant debuts farm-to-table mariculture directory for Alaska

closeup of a hand holding a live oyster
A Kachemak Bay oyster farmer holds an oyster during the cleaning process. Photo by Dave Partee/Alaska Sea Grant.

Alaskans who love fresh Alaska seafood will be happy to hear that Alaska Sea Grant has begun development of an online directory of farms and retailers that sell Alaska-grown shellfish and seaweed, locally or through mail order.

With Alaska restaurants shuttered or offering limited service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are cooking more meals at home. This shift of attention has bolstered the idea of acquiring ingredients that are healthy, sustainable, locally sourced, and in-season. In response, Alaska Sea Grant is working to help mariculture farmers and to boost local economies during the crisis, while at the same time promoting Alaskan’s health and well-being through access to healthy, locally sourced Alaskan seafood.

The directory of farms and retailers will be updated regularly. If you are a farmer or retailer selling Alaska-grown shellfish and seaweed, and would like to be added to the directory, please contact project lead Melissa Good of the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.

Alaska seafood, both wild harvest and farmed, comes from pristine waters of Alaska and is prized as some of the highest quality seafood in the world. Alaska-grown seafood, including oysters, mussels and seaweed, feed and grow on a diet of naturally occurring marine organisms and rich nutrients.

Alaska Sea Grant Shellfish and Seaweed Growers Project

The directory is one part of the Alaska Shellfish and Seaweed Growers Project, which aims to provide: 

  • mariculture species fact sheets on oysters, bull kelp, sugar kelp, and more
  • meet the farmer videos 
  • a consumer guide
  • videos on how to shuck oysters
  • oyster and seaweed handling and food safety guides for consumers and retailers 
  • recipes for delicious ways to prepare fresh oysters and seaweed

Alaska Sea Grant will be working with partners to sponsor virtual seafood festivals later this fall and next spring to celebrate the mariculture industry in Alaska. The festivals will share some of the inspiring (and tasty!) stories of farmers, offer cooking demonstrations, short cooking shows with restaurant highlights, and offer other educational and artistic activities. The first event will be hosted from Ketchikan in mid-September, 2020.

green sugar kelp drying on a clothesline
Drying sugar kelp. Photo by Carter Newell.

Alaska Sea Grant works with state, federal, tribal, industry and other stakeholders to support and build a thriving mariculture economy in the state. The Alaska Mariculture Development Plan identifies a plan for how Alaska will grow a mariculture industry worth $100 million by 2040.

To follow our activities, watch for updates on our Alaska Shellfish and Seaweed Growers Project Facebook page and the Alaska Sea Grant Aquaculture website.For more information, contact Melissa Good, Alaska Sea Grant, melissa.good@alaska.edu, 907-581-1876.

%d bloggers like this: