Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Seaweed Summit in Philippines

by Thelma C. Bicarme and Max Prudencio

To further develop the seaweed industry in Cagayan Valley region, several plans have been laid out during the recent Seaweed Summit in Region 2, participated by representatives from national and local government agencies, state universities and colleges and non-government organizations.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Seaweeds Action Officer, Dr. Evelyn Ame said seaweed resources here are faced with threats and constraints which impeded its full development and optimum utilization.

Ame likewise laments that the seaweeds present in region 2 generally have low utilization as a food source.

"Seaweeds are highly nutritious and can help address nutrition problems among our constituents, sadly, these are hardly utilized except in the coastal communities," the seaweeds expert said.

"The open-access regime still exists, which if left unchecked, can eventually lead to lesser productivity. The gracilaria industry, on the other hand, suffer from low price as the seaweeds are mainly dried and shipped out of the region," Ame said.

To address these concerns, BFAR, with the assistance of other government agencies shall focus on the expansion of production areas, distribution of drying equipment, conduct of demos on seaweed processing and utilization, conduct of research on seaweed tissue culture and standardization of drying technique.

BFAR shall also create seaweed sanctuaries, pass resolution for regulated gathering and conduct massive information and education campaign on importance of seaweeds as alternative livelihood.

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