NOAA Fisheries Selects Alaska to Begin Aquaculture Opportunity Area Identification

NOAA and partners in the State of Alaska are announcing plans to identify Aquaculture Opportunity Areas (AOAs) in Alaska state waters. These areas will be selected through engagement with tribes and the public, a process that allows constituents to share their community, tribal and stewardship goals for sustainable aquaculture development in Alaska’s coastal and marine waters. 

Alaska will join Southern California and the Gulf of Mexico as the third region in which NOAA is working with partners to identify AOAs. The multi-year process to identify AOAs will be conducted in partnership with the State of Alaska and follows a comment period during which NOAA received public support for aquaculture from Alaska Native organizations, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, members of Alaska’s legislature as well as industry and research institutions. 

“With more coastline than all of the Lower 48 states combined, Alaska is uniquely positioned to benefit from a growing marine aquaculture industry,” said NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Janet Coit. “Aquaculture Opportunity Area identification efforts use the best available science, Indigenous Knowledge and collaboration with local communities to foster shellfish and seaweed aquaculture — benefiting Alaska’s Blue Economy.” 

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