By Ellalyn De Vera
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has started to identify suitable sites for seaweed farming in the country, as an alternative source of income for coastal communities and to help counter the effects of climate change.
DENR Secretary Gina Lopez said some of the potential seaweed farming sites include Calatagan in Batangas, Tambuyong in Quezon, Badian in Cebu, and Caluya Island in Antique.
Lopez said the government will not only help in seaweed propagation, but also in marketing its by-products.
“The seaweed revenues should affect more than one person while developing an area,” Lopez said.
“We can get the country out of poverty through this project,” she added.
The DENR chief noted the strong market potential of seaweed due to its fast-growing characteristics and high market price, making it an important economic activity to alleviate poverty in the rural areas.
Apart from its economic potential, seaweed is one of the natural and effective carbon sequesters that can be found in the coastal area, and some of its species can grow alongside mangroves.
As such, one of the proposals is to get the fund for the seaweed projects from the Expanded National Greening Program and the People’s Survival Fund.
Using seaweeds for human production and consumption also helps the marine ecosystem as it reduces the organisms that are infesting other lives in the sea.