The farming of the versatile seaweed, used as a super food, a renewable source of energy, medicine and raw material for industry, is set to get a boost in the country as the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) coming up with a feasible technology for its culture.

 

The CMFRI transferred the technology of seaweed culture, which is perceived as the of the most environmentally benign mariculture activity,  to the Andaman and Nicobar Island administration recently.  The institute provided scientific inputs to the administration on the seaweed culture in the islands`and also gave practical training to the Fisheries officials in Andamans.

 

The seaweed fragments, the seed material, are tied in the ropes attach the seeded ropes in the bamboo rafts and put it in sea water. A feasibility study conducted by a team of experts from the CMFRI found that the South Andaman regions  are highly suitable for the seaweed farming. The team was very particular that they do not cause damage to the ecology in the area and chose coastal areas without coral reefs.


 

The experts also introduced the Andaman officials to the distribution and diversity of seaweed in the Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar. Training was imparted on wild collection of seaweed and also on how to identify commercially significant species.   

 

  A K Abdul Nazar, the scientist-in-charge of Mandapam Regional Centre of CMFRI,  said that the apart from being used as food,  seaweeds are a renewable source of energy. A number of chemicals and medicines can be made out of seaweeds. Textile, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers and animal feed industries can make use of the sea plant. 

 

Other uses of seaweed

  •  used for production of Agar, Alginates and Carrageenan.
  •  Chemicals such as alginic acid, mannitol, laminarin, fucoidin and iodine can be extracted from brown seaweed.
  • The CMFRI has developed Cadalmin Antidiabetic extract (ADe), an anti-diabetic nutraceutical from seaweeds which is effective to combat type-2 diabetes.
  • It also developed Green Algal extract from seaweeds to combat inflammatory pain and arthritis.