Aquatic Farm Authorization Requirements

Multiple agency authorizations are required to site, construct, and operate an aquatic farm site in the state of Alaska. To streamline the process, an aquatic farm applicant can fill out one Joint-Agency Aquatic Farm Program Application. This Joint-Agency Aquatic Farm Program Application provides information for all the agencies that have authority to oversee certain aspects of the aquatic farming project in the state of Alaska.

It helps for an aquatic farm applicant to understand that obtaining authorizations for aquatic farming involves a progression of steps and approvals. All agencies and applicants are kept informed as a project moves through the review and approval process steps. The general approval steps follow:

  • Lease — DNR Division of Mining, Land, and Water (DNR/MLW) reviews proposals, makes preliminary decisions, and provides a public review and comment period. If DNR/MLW approves of the proposed aquatic farm project, a ten-year aquatic farm site lease is issued.
  • Operation Permit — Once an aquatic farm site lease agreement is complete, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) can issue an aquatic farm Operation Permit if the proposal is approved.
  • Special Area Permit — For approved aquatic farms located in a critical habitat area, ADF&G Habitat Division issues a Special Area Permit concurrent with the Operation Permit.
  • US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) — After receiving all State agency authorizations, a person can make a request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for authorization for Aquatic Farm Structures within the navigable waters of the State of Alaska.
  • Water Classification — After all other approvals are completed, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) must do a sanitation survey that includes a water classification of the aquatic farm site area and an onshore survey.

Applicants can refer to the flow chart summarizing the general review and approval steps and the summary of state fees associated with aquatic farming operations found below.