During 2018 and 2019, OceansAlaska laid the groundwork for Ketchikan’s Community Demonstration Seaweed Farm with help from the Pacific Marine States Commission’s Marine Aquaculture Pilot Project award. OceansAlaska is thankful for the help and the support of PSMFC.
Seaweed farming and kelp products have become increasingly popular as food or cosmetic products, and are readily available in grocery stores and other outlets. There is interest in not only new products but also in swapping traditional land plant ingredients with ocean plants. New businesses are producing innovative seaweed products such as seaweed jerky, seaweed chocolates, relishes, salsas, dried seaweed flakes, art objects, soaps, scrubs etc. The goal of this project is to provide cottage industries and the Ketchikan community with clean, healthy farmed seaweed, that can help augment kelp wild harvest.
OceansAlaska’s Community Demonstration Seaweed Farm is also working on outreach to commercial/sport fishermen, community members, seafood processors, Native organizations, and local environmental groups. Seaweed is good for the marine environment, providing ecosystem services such as the uptake of CO2 and nutrients and creating habitats and nurseries for valuable seafood species.
Phase one of the Community Seaweed farm, started implementing the infrastructure for the farm, including gathering fertile seaweed (bull kelp), producing seeded line, installing the anchors, and experimenting with different lines/buoys/chain configurations for the farm.
New seaweed events and important links:
“Looking to start a seaweed farm in Alaska” Sea Grant, Greenwave, OceansAlaksa, Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation.
If you are looking for more information about starting a seaweed farm specific to Alaska, see the following link, a short summary of resources.