Site assessments for kelp farming

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Determining the suitability of sites for cultivating kelp is a complex system that involves multiple factors of varying importance, including conflict over area use, geophysical aspects, and biological requirements for effective farming. The development of kelp farms in sites that do not provide adequate conditions for kelp growth is of significant concern. This project proposes designing, assembling, and testing a Site Assessment Toolkit (SAT) to address this logistical issue and determine suitable kelp farming sites. The successful development of this project will result from a joint effort between UAF and the Native Conservancy, a non-profit organization integrated by Native Alaskans pioneering kelp farming in Prince William Sound.

Vision

Develop a simple but sturdy and reliable toolkit for kelp farming site suitability assessments.

Approach

 1. Develop and test multiple versions of the toolkit, assessing the easiness to operate different devices. 

 2. Create an illustrated protocol showing a step-by-step data collection.

3. Create an information booklet with facts about site selection to help users in their decision-making process.

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Initial funds for this project have been provided by the Alaska Center of Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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                   FUTURE DIRECTIONS

  • Expand this project into a program with more collaborators and partners.

  • Increase our capability to monitor a larger number of sites and potential farm sites in Alaska.

  • Improve the SAT and create a Site Assessment and Monitoring Toolkit (SAM-T) with enhanced capabilities to collect data.

Partners and collaborators

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