Murkowski Welcomes USDA Announcement for New Mariculture Facility on Prince of Wales Island
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today welcomed the announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will award $500,000 to Southeast Conference to design a mariculture processing facility to be located on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska—home to one of the largest kelp farms in the United States.
“Creating sustainable economies in rural and remote communities can be challenging, but this investment, in recognition of the promise that Alaska’s unique and growing mariculture industry holds, is important progress. This new facility will create jobs and support a growing industry in our state. While finfish and shellfish are two pillars of the seafood economy in Alaska, the commercial use of kelp and other seaweeds for food and other purposes is on the rise in many of our coastal communities. I commend USDA for giving Southeast Conference the opportunity to use their local knowledge to create a blueprint for a culturally and geographically appropriate facility,” said Senator Murkowski. “I’ve long said that those who work in the seafood and mariculture industries are truly the farmers of the sea and have been a strong advocate for Alaska’s Blue Economy with the administration. We appreciate this investment and look forward to seeing its positive impact on this rapidly growing industry.”
Mariculture is the cultivation of kelp, oysters, and other marine organisms.