mardy montano president of the women seaweed farmers in quezon town in palawan credit imelda abano webPic credit: Imelda Abano
Mardy Montano, president, women seaweed farmers in Palawan

It sounds like a rap song though it’s anything but. In fact, it’s a debilitating disease affecting seaweed in the Philippines, creating a dilemma for some of the 90,000 farmers who eke a living in the industry

By Roger Rodrigo

The future is bright for Filipino farmers if you consider the following facts.

In a report by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, seaweeds made up 67 per cent of the total aquaculture production in 2015, producing 1.57 million metric tons (MMT).

In the Central Visayas region alone farmers have generated 876 MT of dried seaweed in the first quarter of 2019 with Bohol as the top producer in the region.

However, the advent of the ice-ice disease-- a product of climate change causes the seaweed to release substances in the water that attracts bacteria to harden its tissues making it turn white.

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