Mariculture is a developing industry that provides multiple benefits to the people of Alaska: economic, environmental, and cultural. In Alaska, the term mariculture specifically refers to enhancement, restoration and farming of shellfish and seaweed. Our state is perfectly positioned to incorporate the numerous benefits of mariculture, thanks to several factors: the vast and pristine waters of Alaska; the existing seafood industry; the skills and abilities of coastal Alaskans who work on the water; the cultural knowledge of Alaska Natives; and the Alaska seafood brand established by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.
Another critical factor for helping develop mariculture is the support of the state of Alaska, because most of the activities will occur in state waters. In 2016, former Gov. Bill Walker established the Alaska Mariculture Task Force with the directive to provide recommendations to develop a viable and sustainable mariculture industry. In 2018, the Alaska Mariculture Development Plan was completed and adopted by the state. The goal of the plan is to grow a $100 million-per-year mariculture industry in 20 years.
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