Bill Signing – HB 76
AUGUST 27, 2018 KETCHIKAN – Alaska’s blue economy took a big step forward today when Governor Walker signed four important documents at the Hump Island Oyster farm outside Ketchikan.
Governor Walker issued Administrative Order 297, extending the life of Alaska’s Mariculture Task Force. The 11-member Task Force, established in February 2016 by Administrative Order 280, released their Alaska Mariculture Development Plan earlier this year, a policy document aimed at developing a comprehensive plan for growing the mariculture industry in Alaska. The Development Plan includes five priorities: expand participation, coordinate and refine regulations, establish accessible funding, and conduct necessary research.
By renewing the Task Force, Governor Walker established it as an ongoing advisory panel that will work with state, federal, tribal, industry, and other stakeholders to support the implementation of the Development plan. The Task Force will present recommendations and a progress report to the Governor by May 1, 2021.
“Mariculture is a uniquely well-suited industry for Alaskan investment,” Governor Walker said. “It expands our strong renewable fisheries industry, creates jobs, offers a scalable business model that can thrive from Alaska’s smallest coastal communities to our largest ports, and opens the door to a new knowledge economy that can be a model for the world. From oysters to scallops to sea cucumbers to kelp, I look forward to seeing how Alaskans approach a new industry frontier.”
Governor Walker also signed HB 76, the Mariculture Revolving Loan Fund sponsored by Rep. Dan Ortiz, which accomplishes one of the Development plan’s goals by creating a new way to finance mariculture businesses in Alaska. There are active or planned mariculture efforts stretching along Alaska’s 30,000 miles of coastline, from Ketchikan, Craig, Sitka, Hoonah, Juneau, Cordova, Seward, Homer, Kodiak, to the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands.
In Kethchikan today,