Applying for Operation Permit
Statewide Aquatic Farming Application Opening
Scheduled for January 1 Each Year
The application opening to apply for farming of shellfish and aquatic plants on state-owned tidal and submerged land is scheduled every year. Applications for the next opening are planned to be accepted between January 1 and April 30.
A Joint-Agency Aquatic Farming Application packet can be submitted to DNR during the opening period and it will be distributed to ADF&G. The packet contains information on the application review process, farm site guidelines, required authorizations, review agencies contact information and the application. The packet has been separated into two parts:
- Part I — Application Process Guidelines, Authorizations and Contacts (PDF 462 kB)
- Part II — Instructions and Application (PDF 1,697 kB)
- Additional Required Materials
- Operation and Development Plan (One plan per species)
- Project Description
- List of Information to be included in description (PDF 17 kB)
Project Description Outline – for use by applicants (Word doc 23 kB)
- Complete outline in MS Word and provide with your application.
- General Location Map (USGS)
- Detailed Location Map (NOAA)
- List of Information for Detailed Location Map (PDF 13 kB)
- Example NOAA Chart (PDF 516 kB)
- ArcGIS Online Map App for developing map
- use NOAA Charts basemap, drawing tool, ruler, and MS snipping tool or print option
- insert *jpg in MS Word document and add legend, etc.
- Coordinate Conversion to degree decimal minutes at Earth Point
- Site Plan
- Alaska Fish Resource Monitor
- List of Information for Site Plan Map (PDF 14 kB)
- Example Site Plan (For Suspended culture) (PDF 589 kB)
- Example Site Plan (For Intertidal culture) (PDF 412 kB)
- Alaska Harbor Seal Haul-Out Locations
- Steller Sea Lion Haulout and Rookery Locations in the United States
- Counts of Alaska Steller Sea Lion Pups Conducted on Rookeries in Alaska From 1961-2015
- Pacific Walrus Haulouts
- North Pacific Seabirds
- Anadromous Streams
- Aquatic Farming Operations
- Coastal Information DNR Mapper (for current and proposed leases)
- Alaska Mapper Instructions (PDF 169 kB)
- NOAA ShoreZone Kelp and Eelgrass Beds
- Existing Commercial Fishery Maps
- Existing Dive Fishery Maps
- Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Management Plan
- Kachemak Bay State Park Boundary (PDF 206 kB)
- Cross Sectional Diagram and Detailed Drawings
- List of information for cross-sectional diagram (PDF 13 kB)
- List of information for detailed drawings (PDF 12 kB)
- Examples of Cross-Sectional Diagram/Detailed Drawings (For Shellfish) (PDF 410 kB)
- Examples of Cross-Sectional Diagram/Detailed Drawings (For Kelp) (Word doc 211 kB)
- Training Presentation (PDF 1,715 kB)
- For sending larger application files, use Alaska ZendTo at https://drop.state.ak.us/drop/.
- For additional information and help, please see the NOAA Permitting Portal for a complete overview of the permitting process for aquatic farms for all involved agencies.
A person must submit the Joint-Agency Aquatic Farming Application (Part II) to Department of Natural Resources (DNR) during the opening period along with the required application filing fee. DNR will provide the completed applications to other state authorizing agencies. If the proposed site is for on-bottom clam culture, a person must include a survey fee of $5,000 for a subtidal site or $2,000 for an intertidal site, to determine the initial abundance of wild stock on the site of the species intended for culture. A fee schedule (PDF 152 kB) is available, to provide details of all state fees required for authorizations and operating an aquatic farm in the state of Alaska. Aquatic Farm Site Report No. 2522-14 lists the current DNR lease annual fees by acreage and other fees for this agency.
Multiple agencies are involved in the review process (PDF 169 kB). To help streamline the review, the Joint-Agency Aquatic Farming Application is used to obtain most of the authorizations required by the State of Alaska to site, construct, and operate your aquatic farm in state waters. Authorizations include an Aquatic Farm Site Lease from DNR Division of Mining, Land, and Water (MLW), a Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Aquatic Farm Operation Permit, and Special Area Permit. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) also requires authorization for aquatic farming before placement of Aquatic Farm Structures within the State of Alaska navigable waters. It is recommended that this USACE authorization be requested after the DNR preliminary decision. Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is charged with seafood safety and has a program for classifying waters for aquatic farms. In addition, a farmer will need to obtain a shellfish shipper permit, a harvest permit, and have a shellfish sampling plan from DEC prior to harvest.More details on agency authorizations can be found at Aquatic Farm Authorization Requirements page.
Additional options are available through Department of Natural Resources, who maintains a list of designated areas and pre-authorized sites available for aquatic farming. These must be applied at the same as any other location during the application opening and have the same review process.