Applying for Operation Permit

Statewide Aquatic Farming Application Opening
Scheduled for January 1 Each Year

The application opening to apply for farming of shellfish, invertebrates and aquatic plants on state-owned tidal and submerged land is scheduled every year between January 1 and April 30.

A Joint-Agency Aquatic Farming Application packet can be submitted to DNR during the opening period and it will be distributed to ADF&G. The packet contains information on the application review process, farm site guidelines, required authorizations, review agencies contact information and the application. The packet has been separated into two parts:

A person must submit the Joint-Agency Aquatic Farming Application (Part II) to Department of Natural Resources (DNR) during the opening period along with the required application filing fee. DNR will provide the completed applications to other state authorizing agencies. If the proposed site is for on-bottom clam culture, a person must include a survey fee of $5,000 for a subtidal site or $2,000 for an intertidal site, to determine the initial abundance of wild stock on the site of the species intended for culture.

Multiple agencies are involved in the review process (PDF 577 kB). To help streamline the review, the Joint-Agency Aquatic Farming Application is used to obtain most of the authorizations required by the State of Alaska to site, construct, and operate your aquatic farm in state waters. Authorizations include an Aquatic Farm Site Lease from DNR Division of Mining, Land, and Water (MLW), a Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Aquatic Farm Operation Permit, and Special Area Permit. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) also requires authorization for aquatic farming before placement of Aquatic Farm Structures within the State of Alaska navigable waters. It is recommended that this USACE authorization be requested after the DNR preliminary decision. Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is charged with seafood safety and has a program for classifying waters for aquatic farms. In addition, a farmer will need to obtain a shellfish shipper permit, a harvest permit, and have a shellfish sampling plan from DEC prior to harvest.More details on agency authorizations can be found at Aquatic Farm Authorization Requirements page.

Additional options are available through Department of Natural Resources, who maintains a list of designated areas and pre-authorized sites available for aquatic farming. These must be applied at the same as any other location during the application opening and have the same review process.