Fisherwomen get into seaweed cultivation

[India] As part of its outreach programme to provide alternative livelihood to economically backward fisherfolk, who are engaged in wild seaweed collection in the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, Marine Algal Research Station (MARS) in Mandapam has distributed rafts for cultivation of seaweeds in Kunthukal area.

Amitava Das, Director, CSIR-Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSIR-CSMCRI), Bhavnagar, distributed the rafts free of cost to the women from Chinnapalam on Wednesday in the presence of K. Easwaran, Scientist in-charge of MARS, and Senior Scientist M. Ganesan.

“This is part of our outreach programme to provide alternative livelihood to the fisher folk and ensure that the technologies developed at research stations benefited the local population,” Mr. Das who was on three-day visit to MARS, a unit of CSIR-CSMCRI, told The Hindu . After the Centre banned import of seaweeds from Morocco, there was a huge demand for seaweed in food, pharmaceutical, chemical and fertilizer industries in the country, he said, adding the Gulf of Mannar region was one of the top producers of seaweed in the country. The fisherwomen who were allowed wild collection of ‘Gracilaria edulis’, were trained to cultivate this species and two other species – Gracilaria debilis and highly remunerative Gelideilla acerosa, using raft method, Mr. Easwaran said.

About 200 women in Chinnapalam were engaged in wild collection and 35 of them were selected for cultivation using raft method in the first phase, he said. The women could harvest Gracilaria edulis and Gracilaria debilis in 45 days and the other species in 90 days and they were assisted by Junior Scientists V. Veeragurunathan and Monica.

As they were allowed wild collection only for 12 days a month, the women could earn additional income by cultivating seaweed using raft method, Mr. Eswaran said. The women would have no marketing problem.

 

Photo: Amitava Das, Director, CSIR-Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar (extreme left), taking a look at seaweed cultivated in raft near Kunthukal.— Photo: L. Balachandar

View original article at: Fisherwomen get into seaweed cultivation 

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