Photo credit: Ahmad Yousef alqarain (Jordan)
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
In 1993, Kappaphycus alvarezii seaweed was the first time to be cultured at experimental bases in Son Hai lagoon, Vietnam. Since then, the culture of this species steadily expanded and turned to an economic activity from 1995 onward especially in the coastal areas especially when found an income generator activity to the poor fishers in these areas bearing in mind the low initial investment for their culture along with the simple technology required. The Vietnamese farmers cultivate Kappaphycus alvarezii mainly in shrimp ponds, salt fields, and coastal tidal flats. The inserted photo shows the culture of Kappaphycus in a shrimp pond in Vietnam.
The Kappaphycus alvarezii enjoy a good market as well as multiple uses including its use as dietary elements, in cosmetics and pharmacy. This seaweed also contributes to ecosystem balancing and environment cleaning in coastal aquaculture ponds such as shrimp ponds. Some shrimp farmers integrate seaweed culture into their farming systems to enable filtering the pond discharges and reducing the loads of some nutrients.
While some households were able to recover losses from shrimp diseases through the cultivation of this species of seaweed, the public authorities in some districts encourage the cultivation of Kappaphycus alvarezii seaweed as a means to reducing the fishing pressure in coastal areas.