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Fisheries

Improving seaweed production and processing opportunities in Indonesia. 

Project Code: FIS/2015/038
Program: Fisheries
Budget:
A$1,600,001
Research Program Manager: Dr. Ann Fleming
Project Leader: Nicholas Paul - University of the Sunshine Coast
Duration:
AUG 2016
2019
JUL 2020
Project Status: Legally Committed/Active
Map
map_fis-2015-038
Key partners
Centre for Seaweed Culture Research and Development
Hasanuddin University
Research Centre for Marine and Fisheries Product Processing and Biotechnology
DOCUMENTS

Overview 

This project is transforming and modernising the Indonesian seaweed industry by taking a whole-of-value-chain approach.

Indonesia is the world’s second-largest seaweed producer, and seaweed culture is one of the few available income-generating opportunities for coastal communities in eastern Indonesia. 

Although production is increasing by about 30% annually, problems with seaweed quality, processing procedures and utilisation of waste streams from processing, have been identified. Also, processors have identified an issue of declining quality in carrageenan-producing seaweeds, particularly reduced gel strength and problems with the colour of the processed product. 

The causes of variation in product quality and production between farming sites and across seasons, as well as deterioration in gel strength, are currently unknown. 

The project aims to analyse value chains to identify constraints and knowledge gaps for seaweed production in Indonesia; improve the quality of seaweeds produced at the farm level; and create innovative products from seaweeds and their processed waste streams.
 

Expected project outcomes

  • Improved quality of seaweed produced at farm level.
  • Increased household income in coastal communities due to improved productivity.
  • Generation of a new income source for pond farmers through expansion of Caulerpa farming in coastal ponds.
  • Income generation for women’s groups that undertake the processing and marketing of new products, through the development of processing techniques.
  • Reduced reliance of seaweed farmers on the fluctuating commodities markets for carrageenan and agar gels.
  • National economic benefits from increased proportion of seaweed processing in Indonesia, leading to local employment and retention of a greater share of the seaweed’s total value.
  • Positive environmental effects from the increased growth of seaweeds that utilise dissolved nutrients for growth that would otherwise enter the sea. 
  • Utilisation of solid and liquid waste streams from seaweed processing.