Seaweed processing and handling workshop provides workforce training

man sorting sugar kelp

Seaweed farming is a major industry worldwide, and the United States imports more than 95%—19 million tons—of its edible seaweed. Alaska has an ideal environment for producing home-grown seaweed to meet a greater share of the domestic market and as a potential export to meet international demand. Interest in seaweed farming is growing in Alaska,…

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Alaska aquaculture permitting support bolsters new aquatic farm applications

Oyster Farm in Alaska

Alaska’s burgeoning mariculture industry, which includes shellfish and seaweed farming, has substantial economic potential for coastal communities. The path to establish an aquatic farm is challenging, as prospective farmers are required to file multiple permits with four or more state and federal agencies. This confusing and time-consuming multi-agency permitting process was identified by the state’s…

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Mariculture conference advances efforts to grow industry

photo of kelp on a line in Kodiak, Alaska

“The sun is rising over the emerging mariculture industry in Alaska” was a theme that resonated throughout the recent three-day conference on mariculture in Juneau. Participants included policymakers, industry representatives from around the world and Alaska, tribal leaders, regulators, researchers and training experts, nonprofit organizations, shellfish and seaweed farmers, students, and others.  The conference, sponsored…

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Site Assessment Toolkit to improve kelp farm site selection

Hard cover case showing brochure and scientific instruments inside.

Schery Umanzor contributed to this story. Alaska has ideal conditions for kelp mariculture, including cold and nutrient-rich waters, working waterfronts, a skilled maritime workforce, and people interested in developing kelp mariculture operations. The process of selecting farming sites can be a challenge, however, especially in rural Alaska. Determining the suitability of sites for the cultivation…

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New Alaska aquaculture permitting portal and guidance document

Pulling kelp into boat

Current and prospective aquatic farmers in Alaska have a valuable new resource to guide them through submitting, amending, renewing or transferring an aquatic farm application. NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region and Alaska Sea Grant have launched a web portal and printable manual to assist applicants with the aquatic farm leasing and permitting process. The complex multi-agency…

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Seeking input on Aquaculture Opportunity Area designations

oyster farm buoys in a cove

Alaska Sea Grant and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are inviting Alaska stakeholders to provide input regarding a federal Aquaculture Opportunity Area (AOA) designation program that has the potential to streamline aquaculture development in Alaska. The process, being implemented by the NOAA Aquaculture Program, will identify the regions that will be included in…

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