The National, Wednesday 09th November 2011
By STEPHANIE ELIZAH
BOUGAINVILLE atolls and coastal communities are venturing into seaweed farming as an alternative to marketing sea cucumber. The marine project, which recently gained the support of the Bougainville executive council, is expected to generate income for more than 500 families affected by the closure of the sea cucumber industry.
Bougainville House of Representatives speaker Andrew Miriki said the seaweed farming project was approved after the Autonomous Bougainville Government minister for primary industry, Nicholas Daku presented a policy submission based on a feasibility study report on seaweed farming in the Solomon Islands.
“Since the sea cucumber industry was banned in 2009 by the National Fisheries Authority, those who depended on the business were financially affected,” he said. Miriki said there were world markets in Asia, United States of America, Africa and Europe for seaweed. “Seaweed is one of the highly priced commodity in the world markets due to its many uses such as fertiliser, livestock meal, gels, rubber and as colloid in cosmetics, car polishes and paints,” Miriki said.