Seaweed culture in the Philippines

Credit: Hannibal M. Chavez (Philippines)

Seaweed culture has gained a considerable adoption in the Philippines, in fact making up the large bulk of aquatic organisms production. The high cost of feeds for milkfish, tilapia and other farmed finfishes coupled with the growing market demand for seaweeds have encouraged many fish farmers to shift to seaweed farming following different farming practices whereas the inputs and requirements are based on the utilization of bamboo, mangrove poles, P.E. rope, polypropelene rope or “straw” and monofilament nylon twines. Seaweed farms do not exude effluents; instead, they act as nutrients sinks.

The growing interest in seaweed farming is reflected in the “Seaweed Development Program (SDP)” which is designed to ensure a socio-economic upliftment of subsistence fisher folk through improved aquaculture productivity and sustained supply of seaweed planting materials. It is being implemented through the establishment of a ¼ ha seaweed nursery in an identified area/municipality. Cultivars of seaweed being propagated in marine water are Kappaphycus alvarezii/, Eucheuma spinosum and Eucheuma denticulatum. The establishment and maintenance of seaweed nurseries is aimed to contribute to the expansion of seaweed farms undertaken by the private sector by way of providing adopters with seaweed seedlings.

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