The provincial government said it plans to conduct a mapping of Palawan’s coastlines to determine areas that are suitable for seaweed culture.
Edgardo C. Zabala Jr., the provincial government’s seaweed focal person, recently said the project is part of the plan to further boost the local seaweed industry. The seaweed suitability mapping project, he said, will first be piloted in Taytay and will eventually be done in other municipalities.
He said that they have already geo-tagged potential areas. The project will collect data in coastal areas such as temperature, salinity, water current, and turbidity and use the information to analyze its suitability for seaweed planting.
Zabala added that in coming out with suitable areas as a result of the suitability mapping, they can recommend which places in the province are best for seaweed production that will result in high yield.
In addition to three existing seaweed nurseries that have been put up in Taytay, El Nido, and Araceli, he disclosed that another will be established in Balabac.
These nurseries will be the sources of the seaweed planting materials which will be distributed by the provincial government to identified seaweed farmers throughout the province.
Zabala said that the provincial government’s intention of establishing the nurseries is to produce quality planting materials for distribution to seaweed farmers.
“Dito kukuha ng mga plantlets na ibabahagi sa mga seaweed farmers. Ito yung mga bagong halaman. Hindi tulad ng putol-putol lang. Ito ay mas maganda ang growth rate,” he explained. Unlike the usual planting materials, the seaweed grown in their nurseries are of good quality planting materials and its good growth rate is assured. This is also resistant to diseases.
He said further that their planting materials came from the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) Laboratory
The town of Agutaya is the province’s highest producer of raw dried seaweeds. Included among the top five major producing towns are Taytay, Roxas, Cagayancillo, and Balabac.
“Ito yung mga municipalities na may malakaking production ng seaweeds. Ang isang buwan na production ng Agutaya, ay isang taon na production sa ibang bayan,” he said.