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AFDF Announces 2021 Seaweed Farm Start-up Training Program

Dec 21, 2020 | Agriculture, Education, Fisheries, News, Small Business

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The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) and partners released the registration for a Seaweed Farm Start-up Training Program to be held for Alaska residents interested in starting their own seaweed farm in Alaska.

Registration for the program is now available on the Alaska Sea Grant Website and will remain open until February 1, 2021.

In 2020, this program was held in Kodiak, Ketchikan, and Sitka as part of Phase 2 of the Alaska Mariculture Initiative.

In February of 2021, this program will be held again for a new cohort of participants, and will be conducted virtually via Zoom due to COVID-19 health and safety mandates. This virtual format will allow significant expansion of the training program, from 48 participants in 2020 to more than 100 in 2021.

Registration for the training program will be completed in two parts: 1) all interested Alaska residents are invited to register for a webinar to be held on February 2, 2021 at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and 2) webinar attendees will then be eligible to register for an in-depth series of virtual, technical, multi-day workshops over one week beginning on February 22.

Participation in the February 2 webinar is required to be eligible for the technical workshop series.

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The goal of this program is to provide the tools and training necessary for Alaskans to start their own seaweed farm. The program is targeted toward commercial fishermen, Alaska Natives, and fishing communities.

The program will be completed in four sections:

  • An online webinar on February 2, 2021
  • A series of virtual, technical, multi-day workshops over one week beginning on February 22, 2021
  • One-on-one mentoring for high-performing participants
  • Potential in-person, hands-on field training in the spring/summer of 2021 (COVID-19 permitting)

Although there is no expected cap on the number of participants for the webinar, the series of technical, multi-day workshops will be capped at 150 and will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible participants.

Registration for the series of technical, multi-day workshops will open on February 3, following the introductory webinar, and remain open for one week.

Materials, final workshop dates/times, and workshop information will be distributed to registered participants prior to both the webinar and technical workshops.

Tops covered will include identification of seaweed species, lifecycles of seaweed, the hatchery process, site evaluation, use of the Mariculture Map, farm gear and equipment design, business plan development, farm financing, state lease application process, gear deployment, seeding and harvesting techniques, quality handling, and safety considerations.

Information and instruction will be provided by GreenWave, Alaska Sea Grant, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Blue Evolution, OceansAlaska, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, AMSEA, seaweed farmers, and others.

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