Photo credit: Kevin Fitzsimmons (USA)
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
In Asia including Thailand, several red seaweeds such as Gracilaria have been identified along with their natural habitats. Gracilaria are harvested in large quantity as a commercial source of agar. The increasing demand on agar encouraged the Gracilaria farming to meet the growing demand from the agar processing industry; several species of Gracilaria were found qualified candidates for farming.
The use of Gracilaria in polyculture with finfish and shellfish has been practiced in several Asian countries. Because of the high market price of abalone in world markets and their herbivorous feeding habits, Gracilaria has been used in the culture of abalone.
In Thailand, the culture of abalone began in the early 1990s at experimental scale in which Gracilaria has been used as a principal or sole source of fresh food to farmed abalone juveniles until they reach a marketable size (40- 50 mm in shell length). The two photos which were taken in Thailand show a specimen of abalone and the seaweed Gracilaria.