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Lakshadweep launches seaweed farming units in nine inhabited islands

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Environment
  • Published
    8th Sep, 2021

Context

After fisheries, coconut and tourism, the Lakshadweep administration has prioritized seaweed farming as the next major engine of economic development.

What is Seaweed farming?

  • The simplest and most common cultivation method is to attach pieces of seaweed to rope lines or nets that are suspended in the sea, often near the coast. 
  • They hang on wooden stakes or on a floating wooden framework dug down into the seabed.

About Seaweeds

  • Seaweeds are fast-growing algae. They utilise energy from sunlight, and take up nutrients and carbon dioxide from the seawater.
  • Seaweed is consumed in several countries, especially in East Asian countries. 
  • It is also used in food additives, medicine, fertiliser and cosmetic goods and to combat beach erosion.

Key-highlights of the new initiative

  • It is launched under the guidance of premier marine research body Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) headquartered in Kochi.
  • The initiative is in line with a study conducted by CMFRI which found immense potential for quality seaweeds in pollution-free lagoons for high-end utilisation like pharmaceuticals, food and nutraceuticals.
  • It is planning a production of about 30,000 tonnes worth ?7.5 million in a year.
  • In line with the new plan, a farming demonstration of seaweeds was launched in nine inhabited islands.

Important species to be involved in the plan

  • Indigenous red algae
  • Gracilaria edulis
  • Acanthophora spicifera

What is need of farming?

Farming helps in more production

  • Experimental farming was conducted in the islands of Kiltan, Chetlah Kadmath, Agatti and Kavaratti with good results.
  • The island has a potential of producing nearly 30,000 tonnes of dry seaweed per year worth ?7.5 million by farming only 1% (200 ha) of its 21,290 ha of lagoon area (inhabited islands only).