Hawaii & Alaska
Alaska Department of Natural Resources

AK - Alaska Aquaculture Permitting Portal and Guidance Document Now Available

These new tools guide applicants through the aquatic farm leasing and permitting process in Alaska.

Navigating the aquaculture leasing and permitting process in Alaska is a barrier to development. To reduce this barrier to sustainable aquaculture growth, we have produced a new permitting portal and guidance document to aid prospective and established farmers.

These processing barriers were identified by both the Alaska Mariculture Task Force and the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Mariculture Workshop Summary Report.

The mariculture industry in Alaska has great economic potential, and the Governor’s Mariculture Task Force set a goal of growing it into a $100 million industry in 20 years. However, one hindrance included the complex leasing and permitting process. The Task Force noted that farmers are required to file multiple permits with at least four different state and federal agencies—sometimes more, depending on the project. This results in a confusing and time-consuming process.

“The permitting portal and guidance document are the result of a collaborative effort by many stakeholders,” said Alicia Bishop, NOAA Fisheries Alaska Regional Aquaculture Coordinator. “We hope that these tools increase permit transparency and efficiency.”

NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region and Alaska Sea Grant spearheaded the project to create this user-friendly tool. It guides applicants through the aquatic farm leasing and permitting process in Alaska. Together they formed an interagency working group with state and federal aquaculture regulators including:

  • Alaska Department of Natural Resources
  • Alaska Department of Fish & Game
  • Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Alaska Sea Grant
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • NOAA Fisheries
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Alaska Aquaculture Permitting Guide (2021)
Alaska Aquaculture Permitting Guide (2021) Cover

The working group developed the Alaska Aquaculture Permitting Portal and Alaska Aquaculture Permitting Guide. They bring together leasing and permitting information from state and federal regulators all into one place. These first-of-its-kind tools support new and existing farmers in navigating the initial application steps as well as authorization renewal, transfer, and amendment processes.

Read more.