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Program Information

caption follows
A Pacific oyster on the half shell.

About Our Program

Program Mission: The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Mariculture Program permits and regulates aquatic farming in the state in a manner that ensures the protection of the state’s fish, game, and aquatic plant resources and improves the economy, health, and well-being of the people of the state.

What we do: We permit aquatic farming activities within the state of Alaska and provide regulatory, technical, and planning services to people interested in aquatic farming.

People are required to have permits for aquatic farming activities including to:

  • conduct an aquatic farm site feasibility study
  • construct or operate an aquatic farm in Alaska waters
  • construct or operate a nursery or hatchery to supply shellfish to an aquatic farm
  • purchase or sell shellfish stock to be held or raised at a shellfish hatchery or nursery
  • acquire, transfer or purchase shellfish stock to be used at an aquatic farm

Core Services:

  • Determine that the physical and biological characteristics of the farm location are suitable for farming
  • Ensure that aquatic farming does not significantly alter an established use of a fishery resource
  • Ensure that aquatic farming is compatible with fish and wildlife resources and their habitat
  • Determine wild stock populations of the proposed farmed species prior to permitting aquatic farm operations, to ensure sustainability of the local populations
  • Determine if aquatic farms are technically feasible, through the review of farming methods and practices

What is Mariculture?

Mariculture is a branch of aquaculture, or aquatic farming, wherein marine organisms, both plants and animals, are cultured in captivity or under positive control in the near-shore environment. In Alaska, the mariculture industry primarily produces Pacific oysters, littleneck clams, and mussels for commercial food production. Methods used to culture Pacific oysters and mussels in Alaska consist of a variety of suspended systems such as floating rafts or longlines used to support cages, trays or nets. Clams are grown in intertidal and subtidal areas, depending on the organism farmed.

Presentations on ADF&G Aquatic Farm Program

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