Did you know the University of Alaska System is a major contributor to Alaska’s rapidly expanding Blue Economy?

September 1, 2023


”The Blue Economy” refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems. In Alaska, that includes aquaculture (cultivation of aquatic plants and animals under controlled conditions) and mariculture (cultivation of aquatic plants and animals in the ocean). The University of Alaska Southeast’s Mariculture and Aquaculture programs are providing immense value to Southeast Alaska and the state as a whole.

The setting: Alaska has an estimated tidal shoreline (includes islands, inlets, and shoreline to head of tidewater) of 47,300 miles. Our strengths of clean water, sustainable resource management, indigenous knowledge, and local skills make us well-suited for aquaculture & mariculture development.

UAS offers an Aquaculture and Mariculture program for students looking for hands-on training and experience in the industry. During their Alaska Aquaculture Semester, students travel to UAS’ Sitka campus for an immersive semester-long intensive in aquaculture to learn alongside industry leaders.

Why it matters: In Alaska, the excitement surrounding mariculture opportunities is growing. UAS is situated perfectly to provide workforce development, research, and experiences that will help empower this burgeoning industry – contributing directly to Alaska’s economy, and the well being of Southeast. Highly affordable programs like these teach measurable skills in a short amount of time that lead to employment, higher wages, career advancement, and/or increased job security.

All eyes on The Blue Economy: The University of Alaska’s (UA) role in Alaska’s blue economy was a prominent theme during Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) campus in Juneau. The board heard from industry leaders and program members from UAS.

The big picture: “The UA system is poised to support the development of new industry and business, while providing the education and training for the workforce that will be required,” President Pat Pitney said. “UAS is a uniquely positioned leader and partner in that space, and Juneau is the perfect place to hear about the opportunities for and success of Alaska’s Blue Economy.”

For all information on the Board of Regents meeting, visit https://www.alaska.edu/bor/

“We want to make Alaska the mariculture capital of the world.”
- Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy at the 2022 Mariculture Conference