Alaska Sea Grant offers webinar on seaweed farming

February 24, 2017


two people pull on kelp in water Technician Tamsen Peeples and University of Alaska Southeast undergraduate Eric Fagerstrom check on seaweed at an experimental site near Coghlan Island in Southeast Alaska. Photo by Mike Stekoll.

Alaska Sea Grant will offer a webinar on Alaska’s potential to join the growing seaweed farming industry. Gary Freitag, Sea Grant’s Marine Advisory Program agent in Ketchikan, will present the webinar from 5–6:30 p.m. Feb. 28.

Freitag will review seaweed farming, including culture, harvesting, marketing and permitting. He will also address ways Alaskans can get involved in this multibillion-dollar industry, which is growing by nearly 6 percent annually.

Seaweed is highly nutritious and can be used in biofuels and biotechnology. Seaweed cultivation could be a new economic opportunity for coastal Alaska.

Alaska Sea Grant received a $418,000 grant from National Sea Grant in fall 2016 to support research aimed at helping seaweed growers in Alaska be more successful. The grant is funding a two-year study by Michael Stekoll, a University of Alaska Southeast professor with a joint appointment at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Alaska Sea Grant is also funding a demonstration project in growing seaweed with Oceans Alaska hatchery in Ketchikan and local shellfish farmers.

Alaska Sea Grant is a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For more information about Freitag’s webinar, visit

— By Paula Dobbyn

Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide marine research, education, and outreach program, and is a partnership between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agents provide assistance that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve, and enjoy marine and coastal resources.