Something big is happening in Alaska! In June 2023, NOAA and the State of Alaska embarked on a mission to pinpoint Aquaculture Opportunity Areas (AOAs) in Alaska's vast waters, focusing on sustainable invertebrates like shellfish and sea cucumbers, along with nutrient-rich seaweed aquaculture for both food and biofuel. With Alaska's coastline stretching longer than the entire lower 48 states combined, the potential for aquaculture is enormous.
As part of that process, NOAA is looking for public input on this process. NOAA just launched a 60-day comment period and is seeking data, comments, views, and suggestions from the public. YOUR insights are vital in shaping the future of Alaska's aquaculture.
NCCOS has identified proposed study areas off the southeast, southcentral, and southwest coasts of Alaska (check out all the maps here): https://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/alaska-aquaculture-opportunity-areas/
This public comment period will help finalize the study areas, using the best available data and Indigenous Knowledge to account for environmental, economic, social, and cultural considerations. Find our more and submit your comments here: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/request-information-identifying-aquaculture-opportunity-areas-alaska