Kappaphycus, a red seaweed locally known as ‘guso’ or ‘tambalang,’ constitutes eighty percent of the Philippines’ seaweed export (BAS 2015). It is also one of the top three marine-based export of the country. As an aquaculture enterprise, seaweed farming has been proven to be a top foreign exchange earner. Likewise, it can provide alternative livelihood for coastal farmers. Kappaphycus may be eaten but it is predominantly used as source of carrageenan which has a wide range of uses as an emulsifier, binder, gelling and thickening agent in food and non-food products.
How to culture Kappaphycus?
There are two methods for deep-sea culture of Kappaphycus:
A. Raft method (single) ‒ one unit is composed of four bamboos arranged in a square shape.
- Install 10 m x 10 m bamboo raft at the farming site.
- Tie seedlings (50 g/point) to polyethylene rope (PER) #8 using strawlace while at the shore. Distance between seedlings is 25 cm.
- Tie the rope to the bamboo raft.
B. Hanging long line – used in exposed deep-water areas (5-10 m deep) with moderate to strong water movement. However, this method needs a good support system by installing concrete anchors.
a. Single hanging long line
- Tie seedlings (50 g/point) to 100 m-long PER (#8). Distance between seedlings is 25 cm.
- Anchor one cultivation line on both ends with bamboo stake.
b. Multiple hanging long line (1/2 ha = 4,500 m)
- Follow the same procedure in the preparation of seedlings for single hanging long line.
- Arrange both ends of several cultivation lines in parallel rows.
- Tie to PER (#8) and anchor to the bottom with a concrete block.
Seaweeds are harvested for drying after 50 days of culture. They can be harvested in two ways:
- Untie the seaweeds from the cultivation rope.
- Bring bamboo raft to the shoreline and untie seaweeds.
- Clean the harvested seaweeds and remove: (a) non-Kappaphycus seaweeds, (b) silt and sand, and (c) other foreign particles.
- Set aside planting materials for next cropping (e.g. 1/2 ha = 900 kgs).
- Dry remaining seaweeds in hanging line or spreading out on the ground with drying mats or platforms.
- Store dried seaweeds in a clean, cool, dry and well-ventilated place. For bigger volume and export purposes, store seaweeds by baling (stocking of seaweeds in sacks).
Is Kappaphycus FARMING profitable?
Technical Assumptions for Multiple longline method
|Project duration (years)||5|
|Culture period (days)||50|
|Number of crops per year||5|
|Farm area (m2)||5,000|
|Space between lines (m)||1|
|Length of a cultivation line (m)||30|
|Number of lines per 1/2 ha||150|
|Number of knots/line||120|
|Total number of knots in 1/2 ha||18,000|
|Initial weight of seedlings/knot (g)||50|
|Initial total weight (kg) of seedlings||900|
|Cost of planting materials (PhP/kg)||20|
|Growth rate (percent/day)||5.0|
|Expected weight of harvest (kg fresh weight/crop)||10,964|
|Expected weight of harvest (kg fresh weight/year)||54,821|
|Farmgate price of dried seaweeds (PhP/kg)||35|
|Initial weight of seedlings for four croppings (kg)||3,600|
|Fresh to dry weight ratio (kg)||7:1|
Cost and returns analysis (PhP per year)
|Total variable cost||101,050|
|Total fixed cost||30,014|
|Net income (PhP)||197,041|
|Return on investment (%)||270|
|Payback period (years)||0.35|
|Break-even price (PhP/kg)||16.74|
|Break-even production (kg/crop)||3,745|
SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department. (2017). Seaweed Kappaphycus farming [Brochure]. Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines: Author.
Get a copy of our manuals!
|AEM 32 The farming of the seaweed Kappaphycus (2000) 26 pp
Anicia Q. Hurtado, Renato F. Agbayani
A 24-page manual that introduces the carrageenan-producing seaweed Kappaphycus whose culture has spread from Jolo in Mindanao to at least 14 sites in the Visayas and Luzon. Four culture methods are presented: fixed off-bottom, raft long-line (single or multiple), hanging long line, and polyculture of seaweeds with carnivorous fishes.Download herePrinted copies are available at the AQD Bookstore
Pag-aalaga ng halamang-dagat na Kappaphycus (2007) 24 pp
Printed copies are available at the AQD Bookstore
Seaweeds of Panay, 2nd edition (2006) 50 pp
Seaweed Kappaphycus Farming (2017)
Check out our online bookstore for more titles: www.seafdec.org.ph/bookstore
Attend our hands-on training!
Seaweed Farming training course at SEAFDEC/AQD’s Tigbauan Main Station.
To apply, kindly contact:
Training and Information Division
(63-33) 330 7030
Check out our training schedule: www.seafdec.org.ph/training