Palawan’s seaweed industry is bursting with potentials, an official of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in the MIMAROPA region said.
Roberto Abrera, BFAR assistant regional director, said Friday that the province remains to be the number one seaweed-producing areas in the country.
Citing the Palawan seaweed’s quality to be “rich and high,” Abrera said its price also commands in the market.
He also said Palawan’s seaweeds has all three major classifications — green, red, and brown.
“Actually, ang seaweed ay all over the province, ‘yong Palawan potential the whole province. Pero ‘yong talagang mga major seaweed areas natin ay sa Cuyo Group of Islands, Agutaya, cluster ng Dumaran and Araceli, Taytay, Roxas, Green Island, then of course ang Puerto Princesa pero medyo minimal. Pero ang maganda sa Puerto Princesa lalo na sana kung madagdagan ang caulerpa o latong Cuyo i-proximity into market sa mga hotel natin. When talking of south naman ay Balabac, Quezon, Rizal, so halos all over [the province] ay potential for seaweed farming,” he said.
Abrera was the guest during the two-day 2nd Palawan Seaweed Industry Summit on May 9-10 hosted by the Puerto Princesa City government.
“Ito, it is collaboration. ‘Yong pinaka-importante talaga is of how you can manage to gather dito ‘yong mga experts, ‘yong mga services ng government, then ‘yong market. Kasi kung saan ang strength natin palakasin nalang natin. Talagang promising for decades [itong seaweed farming industry]. Marami nang mga naging professional na taga-Palawan na galing sa katas ng seaweed. Iyana ng competitive edge natin. When you say seaweed it is Palawan it is seaweeds parang synonymous ‘yan,” he added.
He also said that BFAR is collaborating with the Palawan State University (PSU) and Western Philippines University (WPU) for research on the industry.
Palawan is maximizing only the nearshore but it still has huge deep-sea areas it can still utilize, he said.
Alfredo Pedrosa III, chairman of the Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines (SIAP) and a speaker during the summit, told Palawan News also on Friday that the event gives stakeholders an opportunity to talk on how to reconcile their interests to complement each other.
Pedrosa said they also taught seaweed farmers on the financing side of the industry by teaching them how the Philippine financial institutions work.
Seaweed farmers are also entrepreneurs, he said, expressing optimism on the growth of the industry in the province.
“Because Palawan is a good example or blueprint for other areas to follow. This will showcase what constitutes good aquaculture practices and that is what we like to preserve. For our colleagues here, for the seaweed farmers na i-continue nila and improve pa further,” Pedrosa said.