Perspectives on Business and Economics, Vol. 40

61 from Asia. Hence, Alaskan kelp is limited to the health or specialty food market, a result of consumer willingness to pay a premium for superfoods and environmentally friendly products. These high costs also limit Alaskan kelp’s usage for certain environmental services but may still prove useful. Submerging kelp as a carbon sink has potential, if there is demand for carbon capture and carbon credits. Alaska’s main goal regarding kelp should be to lower the costs of entry into these key markets. Cost of farming is the largest barrier for the kelp industry in Alaska, but there are many potential solutions. Government investment in resources for farmers, ongoing research, and continued private investment are necessary to lower costs of production. A substantial private sector investment could be important for reaping the benefits of economies of scale in kelp production (McKinley Research Group, 2021). An existing mariculture firm with access to boats or processing plants would be in a position to invest in farming kelp and have lower production costs. Private sector investment also might come in the form of firms looking to fund an experimental carbon sequestration project, like Stripe investing in Running Tide, in order to get the project up to scale. Private sector interest in kelp could be enhanced through government action of offering tax credits to existing large corporations to have them invest in the kelp industry. Other organizations, like the US Small Business Administration and Alaska Growth Capital, can play a role in offering grants or loans to kelp farmers looking to start a farm or increase capacity. Another way to receive funding as a kelp farmer would be to submit an investment proposal to the Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs). In general, ANCs want to invest in ventures that bring returns and provide benefits to their shareholders. Since farming kelp has the potential to offer economic and environmental benefits, it could be a sound investment decision for ANCs to make. The state government should offer tax credits and/or grants to encourage entry into the kelp market, especially for using kelp for environmental services as that is less profitable than growing kelp for harvest. The Alaska Mariculture Task Force has successfully planned and launched many programs to further Alaska’s mariculture industry. Continued efforts by the task force are needed. The task force has a marketing committee, but this committee only works on marketing Alaskan seafood (Alaska Mariculture Task Force, 2018). The task force should expand their goals to include marketing kelp as a whole food both to US consumers and to Asian consumers, who already enjoy seafood as a part of their diet. The state government should implement a cap-andtrade carbon tax program, which would incentivize carbon capture efforts as well as reduce the state’s carbon footprint in other sectors, even though there may be difficultly creating new government regulations in Alaska’s current political climate. Furthermore, as a part of the Alaska Mariculture Task Force, Alaska should provide guidance to potential kelp farmers on how to find carbon credit programs, including those that have been implemented in California as well as Europe. If Alaska can provide support to potential kelp farmers, the Mariculture Task Force should be able to meet their goal of $15M in annual kelp revenue by 2038. Not only would the kelp industry create value and bring money into Alaska, but also it would provide invaluable services to Alaska’s coastal environment and mitigate the effects of global climate change.