Alaska Mariculture Initiative

Recent update – March, 29, 2018:

In 2016, Governor Walker established and appointed members to the Alaska Mariculture Task Force by Administrative Order No. 280, with the directive to provide recommendations to develop a viable and sustainable mariculture industry. On behalf of the Task Force, the following document represents the culmination of its work – the Alaska Mariculture Development Plan. Take particular notice of the vision, goal (grow a $100 million mariculture industry in 20 years), guiding principles, priority recommendations, and other important elements of the plan.



Alaska Mariculture Initiative:  Economic Analysis to Inform a Comprehensive Plan – Phase 2 – Economic Framework

Alaska Mariculture Initiative (AMI) – Economic Analysis completed

7Phase I of the Economic Analysis to Inform the Alaska Mariculture Initiative has been completed and can be viewed here. Phase I is a set of case studies which looks at examples of successful mariculture industries around the world and how they may relate to the development of Alaska’s industry. Presentations of the results of Phase I and other mariculture development topics have been given during the following meetings: United Fishermen of Alaska, Alaska Shellfish Growers Association, and Pacific Marine Expo. These PowerPoint Presentations, and additional supporting materials, are available on AFDF’s website. If you are interested in a presentation, please contact the AFDF office to discuss options. This initiative is funded by NOAA grant #NA14NMF4270058.

AFDF has also raised approximately $20,000 to match a grant proposal to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in order to produce Phases 2 and 3 of the Economic Analysis to Inform the AMI. These phases of economic analysis are important to help inform stakeholders and policy makers regarding development possibilities for mariculture in Alaska.

The Alaska Division of Economic Development completed the Alaska Shellfish Farm Size Feasibility Study which compares short and long-term profitability for oyster and/or geoduck farms of varying sizes.8

Regarding policy changes, the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) included mariculture in its list of priorities for projects to fund in NPRB’s 2016 RFP (see pages 3 and 13).

AFDF has also been working with Governor Walker’s Administration towards the creation of the Alaska Mariculture Task Force. Stay tuned for more information on this in the future.

Recent news articles on mariculture in Alaska:

Supporting Documents

June 7, 2016 Update:

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 12.41.12 AMContents:

Vision – Grow a $1 billion industry in 30 years.

Phase I - Case Studies - FINAL 1
AMI – Economic Analysis – Phase I – Case Studies


RFP – AMI – Economic Analysis

Concept Paper – Alaska Mariculture Initiative


Description of the Alaska Mariculture Initiative –

A project to expedite the development of the mariculture industry in Alaska and funded by a NOAA grant.

The potential economic impact of a fully developed mariculture industry in Alaska is not well understood by industry or policymakers. It is also not entirely clear what is needed to move from Alaska’s current micro industry to a fully developed industry. The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) has been awarded a grant from NOAA in order to spearhead the Alaska Mariculture Initiative (AMI) with the following goals:

1. Expand the stakeholder base, create partnerships, and increase capacity to be effective;

2. Develop a clear and comprehensive strategic plan, including a written commitment to implement the plan by the various stakeholders and agencies.

Northern Economics, Inc. was contracted by AFDF to conduct an economic analysis to help inform decisions to be made in the creation of the AMI strategic plan. The economic analysis will contain three phases and each phase will be posted on this webpage when available:

                                      • Phase I: Comparative case studies (9) which outline examples of successful mariculture industries in different regions of the world;
                                      • Phase II: Given the results of Phase I, develop a preliminary economic analysis, including a model or framework, to support & inform the development of Alaska’s statewide strategic plan;
                                      • Phase III: Analysis of the costs, benefits & economic impact of the final statewide strategic plan developed as part of the AMI, given implementation.

Articles in the News:

SE soil & water

AFDF seeks proposals for AMI

Proposals now being sought to gauge economic potential of Alaskan mariculture

Kelp craze – fish factor

AFDF announces new mariculture initiative

NOAA funds mariculture industry development plan in Alaska

Ocean farming AFDF plans introductions of mariculture initiative

AFDF has project to build 1 billion industry

The rise of Alaska shellfish farming

AFDF Alaska shellfish aquaculture initiative 

IntraFish – will Alaska finally embrace aquaculture

SE soil and water conversationGlobal Aquaculture Advancement Partnership (GAAP) Program