Underwater view of oyster farm.

The purpose of AOC’s mariculture strategy is to support community-based mariculture as an economic driver in coastal Alaska, enhance mariculture resource availability under sustainability management principles, support and seek investment, build public support, develop new markets and products, growing the mariculture workforce and support the work of Alaska’s Mariculture Task Force.

Global markets for seaweed exceeded $4 billion USD in 2017, and with projections topping $9 billion in 2024. Mariculture presents a significant and sustainable economic opportunity for Alaska, especially with increasing worldwide demand for seaweed for food, health and beauty products, animal feed, medical biotechnology, bioplastics, and biofuels. Mariculture is a lightly subscribed industry in Alaska.

Five Elements to Our Mariculture Strategy

  1. Develop state and federal support for the mariculture industry in Alaska including funding and staffing of long-term positions, research, development, and management of mariculture resources, and streamlined permitting processes.
  2. Maximize innovation and growth through research to contribute new knowledge, processes, technology, and support for Alaska’s mariculture sector.
  3. Work with stakeholders, state, and federal agencies to align laws, regulations, and agency practices with mariculture industry needs.
  4. Create and identify new markets in conjunction with industry and various seafood marketing organizations and develop economies of scale to enhance growth opportunities for Alaska’s small farms.
  5. Support to farmers in workforce development, business planning, identifying existing and needed technology and infrastructure, and small farm and industry coordinated research and development.