Seaweed farm training slated for February

Efforts to introduce more commercial fishermen, Alaska Natives and fishing communities to seaweed farming continue to an Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation training program set for February in Kodiak, Ketchikan and Sitka.

AFDF and its partners are accepting applications through Dec. 20 for the program, which will include an online webinar, in-person two-day workshop and one-on-one mentoring for high-performing participants. The workshops are to be held Feb. 13-14 in Kodiak, Feb. 17-18 in Ketchikan and Feb. 20-21 in Sitka.

Topics to be covered include identification of seaweed species, life cycles of seaweed, the hatchery process, site selection, use of the Mariculture Map, farm gear and equipment, business plan development, farm loans available, state lease application process, gear deployment, seeding and harvesting techniques, quality handling, and safety considerations.

Instruction will be provided by GreenWave, Alaska Sea Grant, the Alaska Departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Game, Blue Evolution, OceansAlaska, the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, AFDF and others.

Space is limited to a total of 10 participants per workshop and a total of six participants for one-on-one mentoring.

Apply online at afdf.org.

Seaweed farming is relatively new to Alaska, internationally it is a $6 billion business, according to the World Aquaculture Society.

An article posted on the society’s website contends that seaweed farming has the potential to become one of the economically important natural resources. Currently 99 percent of cultivated seaweed is produced in Asia.