Farming of Seaweeds, Part 3 Maintenance, Harvesting, Packing

Building a Farmhouse

After completely planting the area with seaweeds, a farm house should be built. It is advisable that a drying station is provided. This drying station in the house is necessary so that once seaweeds are harvested they can be dried right in the farm house.

Maintenance of the Area

Enough men must be employed with this project with a proportion of two to five men per hectare. They will have to clean the area daily. Dirt that cling to the seaweeds must be removed daily. Seaweed eating sea animals like sea urchins, starfishes and other predators, should be remove from the area. Inspection on seaweeds should be done on a daily basis.

At 45 days to a month old, branches of seaweeds start to fall off due to the water current. In order to save them from drifting away, a nylon net should be placed on two sides of the area that are perpendicular to the water current.

Harvesting and Drying

Once seaweeds are 2 1/2 to 3 months old, start harvesting them. For economy, when harvesting, try to keep one fresh branch as your reserve seedling. However, if no fresh branch can be harvested and put aside, harvest all the seaweeds and replace with new ones. Always use a stainless knife when harvesting.

Use a wooden banca in harvesting seaweeds. Bring the harvest to the farm house drying station. To make it easier, use bamboo baskets. Usually, the time needed in fully drying seaweeds during sunny days is two to three days, while on cloudy days about five days. If the space in the farm house is limited, then put the dried seaweeds into sacks and transport.

The initial planting is costly because seedlings are bought and much transportation cost is involved. However, in the succeeding plantings, the cost would be much lower because nylon lines will no longer be bought, so with the posts and seedlings plus the transport cost. Normally, posts should be changed every year and nylon line every two years.


Fresh seaweeds, such as Caulerpa, Gracilaria and Codium which are intended for the local market are first thoroughly rinsed in clean seawater to remove mud and dirt. Sorting is also done to remove the weed species mixed with them. Packaging is an important post harvest activity which determines the shelf life of the seaweed.

Baskets made of bamboo are generally used as containers. The inner surface of each basket should be lined with gunny sack. Several layers of fresh or dried banana leaves or fresh seaweeds, such as Ulva or Sargassum should be placed over the bottom and along the sides of the basket. The basket is then filled with dean, fresh seaweeds. A topping of fresh seaweeds or banana leaves is then placed over the seaweeds, then the basket is finally covered with gunny sack which is secured by lacing it to the basket with tying materials.

Exposure to the sun or heat during transport should be avoided to Insure the freshness of the produce.

Seaweeds intended for food sold in local markets in dried form are first soaked in freshwater before consumption.

source:  Seaweeds, An Industry Profile DA-AMAS

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