"Shellfish Mariculture represents a major economic development opportunity for Alaska and its communities."
- Rep. Heinze
An Act relating to permits for aquatic farming of geoducks.
Shellfish Mariculture represents a major economic development opportunity for Alaska and its communities, particularly in rural areas where it has been difficult to identify private sector development options.
There was clear intent to support the development of Mariculture when the Legislature enacted the limited entry constitutional amendment, adopted by Alaskan voters, which states:
SECTION 8.15 -- THE ALASKA STATE CONSTITUTION
This legislation represents a compromise between competing users and attempts to balance the constitutional issues of common property resources, the limited entry and aquaculture constitutional amendment, and sustained yield principles in Alaska's constitution.
Basically, this legislation states that when there are significant stocks on a proposed farm site where there is no current commercial fishery, public, sport or subsistence users would have access to indigenous or farmed stocks for the period of the permit, excluding other recognized commercial user groups. The farmer would have to restock harvested areas on an annual basis to the original population levels at the farmer's cost, after approval from the Department of Fish and Game.