Seaweed Development Program
The Philippines has abundant aquatic resources where seaweed is one of these aquatic products found in lagoons and reed areas all over the country. The country is one of the few in the world which pioneered in the farming of these plants in substantial quantities. Seaweed is a good source of colloidal materials used as gelling agents, emulsifiers, stabilizers, in pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food products. Seaweed also constitutes an important food item, fertilizer and animal feed.
In support of the seaweed industry, a total of 701,509 kilograms of seaweed propagules are targeted to be distributed to 1,322 individuals and 62 group beneficiaries. A total of 446 sets of seaweed farm implements will be provided to 446 individual beneficiaries.
Deserving seaweed farmers will be granted seaweed seedlings and farm implements. For each individual beneficiary that has a farming area of at least 250m2, 100 kgs of seedlings, 1 roll of #5 PE rope, 2 rolls of #10 PE ropes, 1 roll of soft tie and 50 pcs of floaters will be provided. For the group beneficiaries with at least ½ hectares of farming area, 100-200 kgs of seedlings for each member, 2 rolls of #5 PE rope, 25 rolls of #10 PE ropes, 10 rolls of soft tie and 1000 pieces of floaters will be given.
In spite of the success of the seaweed industry in the country, problems still beset seaweed farming such as declining farm productivity, poor quality of seedlings, lack of post-harvest facilities, price fluctuations and proliferation of diseases. To address these problems, the Bureau will continue implementing the following projects and activities:
Also, for 2023, while at transition phase of the implementation of the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling, the seedstock material for aquaculture (seaweed propagules for distribution), shall be a devolved function which BFAR shall consider in the existing PAP of the Bureau. Capacity building of the clients of BFAR at the LGU levels which shall serve direct fisherfolk beneficiaries will be prioritized.
Establishment of Seaweed Nurseries
This program aims to establish 12 seaweed nurseries in both traditional and non-traditional areas by providing ¼ hectare seaweed nursery that can support 2 hectares of grow-out farm while maintaining 57 seaweed nurseries nationwide that will ensure premium quality of seaweed seedlings. Prior to the full operationalization of the seaweed nurseries, test plots will be established in selected sites where regular monitoring will be conducted.
Operation of the existing Seaweed Culture Laboratories
In support to the country’s seaweed industry, seaweed culture laboratories were maintained to produce quality seedlings and to safeguard and accelerate the seaweed industry. Currently, the Bureau is maintaining nine seaweed tissue culture laboratories nationwide that are located in different areas: Lucap, Alaminos, Pangasinan (Region I); Tuguegarao City (Region II); Baler, Aurora (Region III); Nueva Valencia, Guimaras (Region VI); Ubay, Bohol (Region VII); Guiuan, Samar (Region VIII); Zamboanga City (Region IX); Masao, Butuan, Agusan del Norte (Region XIII); and Sorsogon (National Seaweed Technology Development Center).