Alaska Sea Grant is helping to develop Alaska’s emerging mariculture industry, considered a key part of the state’s “blue economy.”
The blue economy is a term that refers to various economic uses of the ocean, including marine transportation, fisheries, energy, tourism and aquaculture.
Alaska Sea Grant’s director serves on the state’s Mariculture Task Force, a group of industry, academic, tribal and government representatives charged with developing a plan to promote businesses that sustainably cultivate kelp, seaweed, geoducks, oysters, red crab and sea cucumbers.
The task force released its development plan in August 2018. It recommended a series of steps Alaska could take to grow a $100 million industry in 20 years. The plan includes five priorities: increase profitability, expand participation, refine regulations, establish accessible funding, and conduct necessary research to create a thriving mariculture industry worth $100 million by 2040.
“With more than 30,000 miles of clean, nutrient-rich coastline, Alaska is an ideal environment for creating a robust mariculture industry that will bolster the economy of our coastal communities and state,” said Ginny Eckert, associate director of research for Alaska Sea Grant.