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Alaska Mariculture Initiative

Vision: Grow a $100 million mariculture industry in 20 years.

Research & Development

Downloads

  • Alaska Seaweed Industry Expansion Scenarios

    Updated: May 2022

  • Alaska Seaweed Marketing and Communications Plan

    Updated: February 2022

  • Assessment of Alaska Seaweed Processing Locations

    Updated: January 2022

Supporting development of Alaska mariculture

Alaska has all the qualities of an ideal environment for mariculture: clean and abundant waters, hardy citizens with maritime experience, the existing seafood industry and infrastructure, and the Alaska seafood brand. The state has research and development capacity at the University and industry level, as well as a sophisticated seafood marketing organization that effectively reaches consumers all over the nation and the world. The regulatory process and agencies are accessible, and the Legislature has been supportive, including funding $5 million for a new mariculture matching grant program.

Along with these strengths come challenges. Since 2014, AFDF has been a champion of development of this young industry, strategically working with partners to identify key barriers and turning challenges into opportunities. The Alaska Mariculture Initiative has encapsulated this work over 8 years, two gubernatorial administrations, and many milestones.

The Alaska Mariculture Initiative (AMI) Timeline:

  • 2013: The AFDF Board of Directors holds a strategic planning session in which the identified mariculture as a new area of focus for the organization.
  • 2014: AFDF is awarded funding from NOAA Fisheries to lead the Alaska Mariculture Initiative (Phase 1).
  • 2016: Based on early successes of the AMI, Governor Walker establishes the Mariculture Task Force (MTF) under Administrative Order which includes AFDF, the State of Alaska, and many other key stakeholders.
  • 2016-2018: The MTF oversees an economic analysis (see Phase 1: Case Studies and Phase 2: An Economic Framework for Mariculture in Alaska) to inform a comprehensive statewide planning document (The Alaska Mariculture Development Plan).
  • 2018: Governor Walker extends the MTF until 2021 in August; Governor Dunleavy takes office in December, supportive the MTF and its work under the new administration.
  • 2019: The MTF approves a 5-Year Action Plan, a working document to guide short-term, strategic development of the industry.
  • 2021: The MTF presents the Final Report to the Governor; per Administrative Order, the MTF sunsets and is replaced by the Alaska Mariculture Alliance (AMA).
  • 2022: Through the EDA Build Back Better Regional Challenge, the Alaska Mariculture Cluster receives $49 million + match to support mariculture development in the state.
  • 2022:  The Alaska Legislature and Governor Dunleavy appropriates $5 million for a new mariculture matching grant program to be administered by the Alaska Mariculture Alliance.


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Alaska Governor Bill Walker signs AO #297 extending the Mariculture Task Force until 2021, and HB #76 allowing shellfish and seaweed hatcheries to apply for the Mariculture Revolving Loan Fund. August 27th, 2018.

Additional Resources:

What We’re Working On

Dedicated to identifying problems in the Alaska seafood industry and developing solutions effective and sustainable solutions through research & development.

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