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Seaweed production areas in CV expand


Fisherfolk in Caroan, Gonzaga, a fishing village located at the mouth of the Buguey Lagoon, have found an additional aquatic resource to supplement their income. The fisherfolk plant seaweed (Gracilaria sp) near the mouth of the river and sell these to the market at four pesos per kilo.


Fishpond owners on the other hand cut significantly on feed cost by feeding the seaweed to their rabbitfish (Siganid sp) stocks locally known as ‘malaga’.


Fernando Carillo, president of the fisherfolk association in the area, is thankful for the new production area saying that sales from the seaweed gathered “can surely help offset family expenses.”


At first, the seaweed was grown thru the demo projects implemented by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Region 02, with assistance from the Department of Science and Technology. The propagules from the previous projects had left enough spores resulting to the natural growth of Gracilaria in the area. As of now, in some areas, the seaweed is just gathered from the wild. “This is better since it entails no production cost at all,” Dr. Evelyn Ame, BFAR RO2 seaweeds officer, said.


Ame estimates production from one hectare seaweed area at 50 metric tons per annum.


Production from the site supply requirements of a seaweed processing project in Gonzaga, managed by a rural improvement club (RIC). This is very important specially when seaweed supply from neighboring Buguey town, the traditional source of Gracilaria, is short.


Gracilaria, locally known as “guraman” is the main source of agar. Agar is used in a number of food, non-food and industrial uses.


This seaweed grows in brackish water areas with depth of half to one meter, salinity of 10 to 36 ppt, temperature of 24 to 30 degrees Celsius, and pH of 5 to 9. The site must also be protected from strong water current and waves.


The seaweed can be prepared as a salad and used as an ingredient for ‘dinengdeng’ (vegetable dish), specially among Ilocanos.


Ame said that BFAR RO2 is implementing seaweed culture techno demos in other municipalities such as Abulug and Sta. Teresita to hopefully replicate the success of Caroan, and further expand the seaweed production areas in Region 02.


BFAR RO2 Regional Director Dr. Jovita Ayson disclosed that development of the seaweed industry is one of the priorities of the Bureau given its huge potential in the local and export market. The seaweed is also one of the priority commodities identified under the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).(max prudencio BFAR RO2)


BFAR RO2 Seaweeds Officer and Research Chief, Dr. Evelyn Ame conducts sampling of seaweeds in Caroan, Gonzaga. Enclosures where the seaweed is grown, can be seen on the background.
BFAR RO2 Seaweeds Officer and Research Chief, Dr. Evelyn Ame conducts sampling of seaweeds in Caroan, Gonzaga. Enclosures where the seaweed is grown, can be seen on the background.
BFAR RO2 Seaweeds Officer and Research Chief, Dr. Evelyn Ame conducts sampling of seaweeds in Caroan, Gonzaga. Enclosures where the seaweed is grown, can be seen on the background.
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