Large-scale Cultivation

Nori Cultivation on nets in Japan

Large-scale seaweed mariculture is carried out only in Asia, where there is a very high demand for seaweed products and burgeoning populations to create market growth. Most cultivated seaweeds are grown for the food market, although the Eucheuma co-operatives in the Philippines and Gracilaria cultivation in association with milkfish production in Taiwan are exceptions to this rule, the seaweeds being used for carrageenan and crude agar production, respectively.

Cultivation of seaweeds in Asia is a relatively low-technology business in that the whole, attached plants are placed in the sea and there is a high labour content in the operation. Several attempts have been made in various western countries to introduce high technology to the cultivation of detached plants grown in tanks on land in order to reduce labour content but none of these has attained commercial viability to date.

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