PROSPECTS OF SEAWEED CULTIVATION IN INDIA VIS-A-VIS WORLD
Seaweeds are marine macro-algae found growing throughout the world oceans and seas. Though there are about 9200 species of seaweeds, only 221 species are economically important. Over 68.33 lakh tons of brown, red and green seaweeds are exploited annually for the production of various commercially important phyco-colloids such as of agar, algin and carrageenan. Thus, natural seaweed stocks have become inadequate to meet the industrial requirements and hence cultivation of these important resources has become necessary. Asia stands as the world leader in seaweed cultivation and more than 80% is contributed by China, Korea and Japan. India has not taken up seaweed cultivation interestingly in the past though it is bestowed with a coastline of more than 17,000 km, embracing 821 species of seaweeds. Only recently, seaweed cultivation is picking up in certain coastal districts of the Tamil Nadu state. Central Salt Marine Chemical Research Institute and Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute have developed culture techniques for some of the commercially important seaweed species in India. As a consequence to this, cultivation of Eucheuma and Hypnea has been taken up on a commercial scale. As a result of this effort, a lot of Self Help Groups, Village Youth Groups and NGOs have come forward to promote seaweed cultivation as an alternate livelihood option for the coastal poor. Considering the great demand for these resources in the international market and availability of adequate manpower and interest in the country, seaweed cultivation has a very good prospect and it can be developed as a successful cottage or co-operative sector industry.
Kannan, L. and Thangaradjou, T. (2007). PROSPECTS OF SEAWEED CULTIVATION IN INDIA VIS-A-VIS WORLD. Acta Hortic. 742, 191-195
Seaweeds, marine macro-algae