10,000 seaweed culture units to be set up in Visakhapatnam soon

[India] The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI)–ICAR, Visakhapatnam, has identified 27 potential sites in four north coastal Andhra districts for cultivation of seaweeds, a marine plant with multifarious uses.

The state government wants CMFRI to formulate a project report, provide technical expertise and collaborate on the cultivation of seaweed on a large, commercial scale in AP.

Under the Centre’s ‘Blue Revolution’ scheme, the government of India has given financial assistance to set up 10,000 seaweeds culture units in Andhra Pradesh, where the production is negligible compared
to Tamil Nadu (22K tonnes), Gujarat and Maharashtra, (each 20K tonnes) and Lakshadweep (8,000 tonnes).

Seaweed research has also gained momentum in recent years, which has its usage in food, drugs, textiles, cosmetics, fertiliser, cattle-feed and biofuel industry. These are grouped as red, brown and green
seaweeds with red seaweed (Kappaphycus alvarezii species) being the most common.

To start with, CMFRI will conduct a pilot scale study focusing on four sites in Visakhapatnam near Mangamaripeta, Bheemili and the dockyard area. Of the four, two will be sea cage sites (existing mariculture sites) and the other two will be non-cage sites.

Both raft method and tube-net method of culture would be experimented with for one year. There are some parameters for selecting the sites for cultivation, like temperature should not go beyond 30 degrees Celsius, salt content should be at least 30 ppt, gentle wave and tide action, moderate underwater current and availability of nutrient rich water free from metal contaminants and toxic pollutants.


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