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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University of Alaska to host mariculture conference

Kelp farmer pulling kelp into boat

Alaska Sea Grant is participating in a mariculture conference hosted by the University of Alaska in Juneau, on April 12–14. Mariculture for Alaska’s Future: Status, Challenges and Opportunities will focus on the status of mariculture in the state, including challenges and opportunities for developing the industry.    The conference will support continued development of mariculture in…

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Regional partnership sparks collaboration to advance Indigenous aquaculture practices

a circle of people standing in a pond

Alaska Sea Grant is working  with Washington Sea Grant and Hawaiʻi Sea Grant to foster collaboration among researchers, students, and diverse stakeholders to advance sustainable Indigenous aquaculture practices. This Cross-Pacific Regional Collaborative Hub for Indigenous Aquaculture aims to catalyze regional partnerships to strengthen community access to customary practices  and enhance seafood production across the Pacific…

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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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State Fellow Spotlight: Hannah Wilson

Woman with dog in mountains.

Jesse Gordon contributed to this story. Hannah Wilson saw the Alaska Sea Grant State Fellowship as an exciting opportunity to apply her academic background and dedication to place-based conservation in Alaska. “The Alaska Sea Grant fellowship sounded like exactly what I wanted to be doing. Specifically, facilitating collaboration between different marine and environmental entities to…

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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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Pacific Shellfish Institute works with Alaska shellfish growers to address emergency rainfall closures

Hand holding an oyster with ocean in background

Many Alaskan shellfish farms are located far from population centers in pristine coastal waters. In June of 2016, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) implemented a blanket emergency closure policy for remote shellfish growing areas any time two or more inches of rain falls within a 24-hour period. It rains quite often in Southeast Alaska,…

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Aquatic farmers wanted for collaborative research

Boat, buoys and floats at a mariculture farm

Alaska Sea Grant and the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation are seeking aquatic farmers to join a 10-year, $25 million mariculture research proposal to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS) Trustee Council. Aquatic farmers from Prince William Sound, Kachemak Bay, and the Kodiak area are invited to submit an application. The proposed project is expected to…

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Shellfish and Seaweed Festival highlights mariculture in Alaska

Hand holding an oyster with ocean in background

More than 100 people, including farmers, scientists, industry personnel, and community members participated in Alaska Sea Grant’s first Shellfish and Seaweed Festival. The online event featured presentations to celebrate and promote the mariculture industry in Alaska and the delicious shellfish and seaweed products grown here. Melissa Good, Alaska Sea Grant’s mariculture specialist, kicked off the…

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