Request for Information on Identifying Aquaculture Opportunity Areas in Alaska
NOAA Fisheries is seeking public input via a 60-day comment period on the identification of study areas, data, and analyses relevant to identifying AOAs in Alaska state waters.
*Please see webinar details below for updates on a rescheduled meeting from our 11/15/2023 Public Listening Session.
Request for Information
As a follow-up to our June 1, 2023 announcement beginning the process to identify Aquaculture Opportunity Areas (AOAs) in Alaska state waters, in partnership with the State of Alaska, NOAA Fisheries requests data, comments, views, information, analysis, or suggestions from the public to support the identification of AOAs in Alaska state waters, including siting parameters that can be used to select potential study areas for further analysis.
The public input provided in response to this Request For Information (RFI) will inform NOAA as it works with Federal, State, and Local agencies, appropriate Regional Fishery Management Councils, and in coordination with appropriate Tribal governments to identify AOAs.
The public may submit comments by one of the following methods:
Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal for NOAA-NMFS-2023-0113. Click on the “Comment” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
Submit written information to Jon Kurland, Regional Administrator for Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Records Office. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.
Written comments must be received on or before December 18, 2023.
Two webinar-based listening sessions are scheduled for Alaska.
Tuesday, November 14, 2023 | 9 AM to 11 AM (AKST) Alaska | 1:00 PM to 3 PM (EST) Eastern Time
- Webinar Link
- Webinar number: 2764 779 2075
- Webinar password: 3i33pB4H3dk (34337244 from phones and video systems)
- Join by phone: +1-415-527-5035 US Toll
- Access code: 276 477 92075
Wednesday, November 15, 2023 | 2 PM to 4 PM (AKST) Alaska | 6:00 PM to 8PM (EST) Eastern Time
- Due to technical difficulties with the online access to this webinar (only phone access was available), a rescheduled listening session is offered below.
Monday, December 11, 2023 | 2 PM to 4 PM (AKST) Alaska | 6:00 PM to 8PM (EST) Eastern Time
- Webinar Registration Link
- Call in number will be available after registration
- Presentation Slides: Alaska Request for Information
Preliminary Study Areas
We are not proposing to conduct detailed spatial modeling of the entire coast of Alaska; instead, we will narrow down state waters to specific study areas for more detailed analysis. This will be done using a combination of spatial mapping approaches, scientific review, and public input gathered through the RFI.
We suggest the following preliminary parameters that could be used to select study areas in Alaska state waters for further analysis:
State waters within a 25-mile radius of coastal community population centers (based on 2010 census data) as proxy for needed infrastructure to support aquaculture development in Alaska.
State waters that do not regularly experience significant sea ice cover (based on the 10 year aggregate maximum sea ice reported by the U.S. National Ice Center).
Using these parameters, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) has identified preliminary study areas located off the southeast, southcentral, and southwestern coasts of Alaska (see maps below).
Additional information on the potential AOA study areas that result from use of these parameters, including maps of individual communities, can be found on the NCCOS Alaska Aquaculture Opportunity Area RFI website.
For more information on the AOAs identification process in Alaska, please visit the Alaska Regional Office’s AOA page, or the Alaska AOA FAQ page. For more information on the national AOA process, please visit the Office of Aquaculture’s National AOA page or the National AOA Fact Sheet.