Ketchikan mariculture group struggles due to stock loss

    A Ketchikan mariculture nonprofit that previously secured funding from the Ketchikan Gateway Borough is struggling after water quality led to losses of stock.

    KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — A Ketchikan mariculture nonprofit that previously secured funding from the Ketchikan Gateway Borough is struggling after water quality led to losses of stock.

    The Ketchikan Daily News reports that nonprofit shellfish hatchery OceansAlaska aims to support its operations by selling oyster and geoduck seeds, but water issues led to only $4,704 worth of shellfish seed being sold in 2015. OceansAlaska has since sold seed worth $23,100 in 2016 but is facing a funding gap.

    OceansAlaska officials presented the information on Monday to the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly, which last year gave OceansAlaska a $600,000 loan. The nonprofit has not requested additional funding from the borough.

    OceansAlaska's larval oysters were affected by acidic water during the fall and winter. Eventually the hatchery calmed the problem with soda ash, but not until after many oysters were lost.

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