Seaweed harvest programme : Thoothukudi

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute organised a seaweed harvesting programme at Tsunami Nagar under the project National Innovation on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) on Tuesday.

P. P. Manojkumar, Principal Scientist and Scientist in-charge, said the objective of climate-resilient farming practice was to combat effect of climate change by creating an alternative means of livelihood. The institute has been actively providing technical support and scientific advice on mariculture practices like sea-cage farming of cobia, pompano, lobster, seaweed culture and Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) farming.

Anju, Assistant Director, Tuticorin Regional Office of Marine Products Export Development Authority, flagged off the harvest from culture plots.

Through seaweed cultivation, a yield of 10 tonnes of wet weight (4 to 5 fold growth) could be got from a single plot consisting of 100 monolines. The culture period extends to around 30 to 35 days, fetching profit of Rs. 35,000 to 40,000 per plot. An individual farmer can manage four improvised monoline seaweed plots at a time.

The farm-gate price for wet seaweed is Rs. 4 a kg while dried seaweed with around 25 to 30% moisture fetches Rs. 40 a kg.

Seaweed, a seasonal crop, is grown from May to December. It was recently witnessed that the cultivation period may be prolonged until March. The culture period, if prolonged up to 45 days or more, would have relatively less yield but may be used as seed material for the next crop in May.

Principal Scientist I. Jagadis, Scientists L. Ranjith, C. Kalidas and D. Linga Prabu were present.

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