This seaweed farmer belongs to one of 5,000 families that depend on the seaweed industry in Palawan. (File photo courtesy of the Palawan Provincial Information Office)

Seaweed farmers in Palawan should plant the “Spinosum” seaweeds variety because it is suitable for the coming dry season.

Edgardo Zabala Jr.,  seaweed focal person of the Livelihood Project Management Unit (LPMU) of the provincial government, said Friday that Spinosum or Eucheuma denticulatum is the best seaweed variety to plant during summer.

“Isang itong uri ng seaweeds na mataas ang resistensya laban sa sakit tuwing panahon ng tag-init, pinakamainam siyang itanim dahil hindi siya basta-basta tinatablan ng sakit,” he said

Zabala said farmers usually encounter the “ice-ice disease” during the month of February up to April due to the formulation of red filamentous algae.

“Ang solution na pwede mong gawin dyan ay maghanap ka ng magandang area na may malakas na agos tapos pumili ka ng variety na mas malakas ang resistensya. Katulad ngayon, ang magandang variety na itanim na seaweeds ay yung Spinosum,” Zabala pointed out.

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He said that Kappaphycus striatum or the Sakol variety is also good during the rainy season which starts from May to November.

Palawan remains to be the top producer of seaweeds in the country, Zabala said.

He said Agutaya, Balabac, Roxas, Taytay, and Cagayancillo are the top producers among the 23 municipalities in the province.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), he said, showed that Palawan contributed 324,654.40 metric tons or 98 percent of seaweed production in MIMAROPA in 2018.

“Ever since, more than a decade, tayo ang number one as province producer ng seaweeds,” Zabala said.

Dr. Myrna Lacanilao, LPMU head, said the provincial government continues to ensure that growers and farmers will give good production to sustain Palawan’s seaweed industry.

The Department of Agriculture–National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI) and the LPMU, she said, are currently conducting suitability mapping to determine the other suitable varieties of seaweeds in Palawan.

“Gusto natin [na mas mapagbuti pa]. As of today tayo kasi ang highest na nagyi-yield [ng seaweeds] sa MIMAROPA and even sa Philippines. Diretso natin ‘yon [suitability mapping] kasi importante ‘yon. That way we will see kung saan talaga [angkop ang pagtatanim ng seaweeds],” Lacanilao said.

She said they are also conducting a suitability mapping in Calauag Bay in Taytay.

“Sa suitability mapping, that would be first of its kind na given yung mga site selection ng mga requirements ipi-feed-in ‘yun sa isang program tapos malalaman ang salinity, temperature, water current, water nutrient kung ‘yung area nga na ‘yun ay suitable for seaweed farming.” Lacanilao said.

She said their data shows that 5,000 families in Palawan depend on the seaweeds industry.

The province has three seaweed propagules nurseries located in Taytay, Araceli, and El Nido.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.