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(a) The commissioner will review aquatic farm and hatchery operation permit applications, department surveys, and other site specific information and will issue an aquatic farm or hatchery operation permit if the commissioner determines that, to the extent practicable,
(1) the physical and biological characteristics of the location are suitable for culture because
(A) the operation is protected from oceanographic and atmospheric extremes or is designed to withstand such extremes;
(B) the water exchange rates, water temperatures, currents, salinity, and primary productivity are sufficient to support an aquatic farm and maintain a healthy environment for other marine organisms;
(C) for on-bottom culture, the substrate composition is suitable for the target species or can be enhanced and still maintain a healthy environment for other marine organisms;
(D) for suspended culture, the water depth is sufficient to prevent gear from grounding and impacting the benthos under floating structures;
(E) the health and abundance of eelgrass and kelp beds can be maintained;
(F) the operation is not located within 300 feet of the mouth of an anadromous fish stream;
(2) the proposed aquatic farm or hatchery does not significantly alter an established use;
(3) the proposed aquatic farm or hatchery is compatible with fish and wildlife resources in the area, and
(A) any predator and pest control methods have been designed to minimize impacts to non-targeted fish and wildlife resources in the area;
(B) does not adversely impact seabird colonies, sea lion haulouts and rookeries, seal haulouts and pupping areas, and walrus haulouts;
(C) does not adversely impact endangered and threatened species recovery and habitat protection efforts;
(4) for on-bottom culture proposals for all other indigenous species where wild stock exists, the commissioner has offered an opportunity to harvest the species;
(5) the proposed aquatic farm or hatchery operation and development plan demonstrates feasibility by describing how
(A) the operation will improve the productivity of the species intended for culture above what would occur in natural conditions using methods that may include
(i) predator exclusion;
(ii) the reduction of competing species;
(iii) density manipulation by culling and redistribution;
(iv) import of naturally-produced seed from either onsite or offsite;
(v) import of hatchery-produced seed;
(vi) programming harvest to optimize growth and shellfish condition; and
(vii) habitat improvement;
(B) any support facilities, culture gear, and anchoring systems will be installed and maintained;
(C) the projected harvest rotation schedule is consistent with the life history of the species intended for culture.
(6) the proposed aquatic farm site contains an insignificant population of the species intended for culture, as determined under 5 AAC 41.235.
(b) The commissioner will approve or deny, in writing, an operation permit for an aquatic farm or hatchery within 30 days after the Alaska Coastal Management Program final consistency finding under 11 AAC 150 or the lease is issued by the Department of Natural Resources under 11 AAC 63, unless the commissioner determines that additional review is necessary to determine compliance with the applicable provisions of AS 16.40.100 - 16.40.199 and 5 AAC 41.200 - 5 AAC 41.400.
History: Eff. 4/10/88, Register 106; am 8/12/89, Register 111; am 6/17/2001, Register 158; am 1/20/2002; Register 161; am 5/19/2005, Register 174; am 11/25/2005, Register 176
Authority: AS 16.05.050
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Last modified 7/05/2006