The Philippines Climate Change Adaptation Project (PhilCCAP) continues to collaborate with the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), as the latter assists the project in looking for potential investments which could provide long-term security for the project’s beneficiaries in Siargao Islands Protected Landscape and Seascape (SIPLAS).
PEMSEA, which tapped Blueyou Consulting last year to conduct an assessment of PhilCCAP’s abalone hatchery project in Siargao, once again has sought the expertise of the Swiss-based marine investment consulting firm, to conduct a follow-up study focused on establishing seaweed farms.
The proposed investment is part of the recommended stepwise approach to ensure the sustainability of the abalone hatchery. In addition, setting up seaweed farms could provide additional livelihood to locals.
In preparation for this study, Dr. Fabian Mollet and Paul Bischof of Blueyou Consulting conducted field visits to potential seaweed farming sites in Siargao on May 23 – 26, 2016.
Assisted by Dr. Anicia Hurtado, a renowned seaweed expert based in Iloilo, the week-long activity provided the opportunity to collect information by interviewing seaweed farmers in sites, which showed potentials for seaweed cultivation.
Together with the staff of PhilCCAP Region 13, the team met with Mr. May Luison, officer of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Siargao, to discuss the undertakings of the agency to leverage the productivity of seaweed culture in the islands, as well as its farming history.
Here, they were able to meet with community members who practice seaweed farming. Through Dr. Hurtado, Dr. Fabian and Mr. Bischof were able to understand the issues, current practices, successes, and failures of seaweed farmers. They were also able to assess the viability of the areas for setting up seaweed farms.
Initial observations by Dr. Hurtado pointed to the low interest of community members to pursue seaweed cultivation, which could affect the success of establishing large-scale seaweed farms. Other findings from the data collection conducted have yet to be consolidated into a comprehensive report.
Blueyou is expected to submit the feasibility study on the potential of seaweed farming in Siargao by August 2016. #