Perspectives on Business and Economics, Vol. 40

57 2,880,000 dry pounds. At the 2019 farmgate cost of $0.54 per wet pound, the wet revenue would be $10,368,000, and the dry revenue $21,600,000, assuming a selling price of $7.50 a pound. To achieve its goal, the task force has established the Alaska Mariculture Alliance, streamlined lease applications, authorized funding for mariculture research, and offered training sessions for potential farmers, among many other initiatives. In 2020 and 2021, 485 Alaskans applied for the available training sessions, which the task force believes indicates a growth in demand for training resources and ultimately an increase in interest surrounding mariculture (Alaska Mariculture Task Force, 2021). Kelp Consumers Marketing kelp to domestic consumers is a key aspect of developing the budding kelp industry in the United States. Introducing a new food to American consumers has been accomplished before and usually is done in two ways. The first is to introduce the crop as an input in other food or nonfood products. An example of this is soybeans in the US, which were introduced in the late nineteenth century and became the most valuable crop export by the first years of the twenty-first century (Du Bois, 2008). The second way is to convince consumers to change their tastes. This happened with kale, which was branded as a “superfood” and has increased in popularity since the 2010s (Šamec et al., 2018). In the world market, 65% of the value of seaweed exports is composed of hydrocolloid extracts, which are used as thickeners. These thickeners can be found in soups, salad dressings, ice cream, jelly, and sauces. These markets are price sensitive as they are nondifferentiated ingredient products, and Alaska’s kelp prices currently are too high to compete with Asian markets (McKinley Research Group, 2021). Table 2 Kelp Harvesting Costs 5 Lines/Acre 10 Lines/Acre 20 Lines/Acre Spool cost $50,000 $100,000 $200,000 Wet pound yield 600,000 1,200,000 2,400,000 Farmers needed 22 42 86 Labor costs $176,000 $336,000 $688,000 Dry processing costs $105,975 $211,950 $423,900 Source: Author’s calculations. Table 3 Kelp Harvesting Net Income 5 Lines/Acre 10 Lines/Acre 20 Lines/Acre Wet revenue $324,000 $648,000 $1,296,000 Dry revenue $675,000 $1,350,000 $2,700,000 Spool cost $50,000 $100,000 $200,000 Labor costs $176,000 $336,000 $688,000 Dry processing costs $105,975 $211,950 $423,900 Wet profit $98,000 $212,000 $408,000 Dry profit $176,875 $383,750 $737,500 Source: Author’s calculations.