Myanmar Preserving Endangered Seaweed Species from Korea

Myanmar is planning to preserve endangered seaweed species in Myanmar’s Myeik Archipelago,importing some species from the Republic of Korea, according to local authorities.

Seaweed cultivation in Myeik Archipelago is seeing a drop in production because of an unknown disease. Many seaweed growers are being forced to abandon the cultivation of the once lucrative Eucheuma or “Cottonii” seaweed and turning to other sources of income.

“We have imported seaweed from Korea and are growing them to conserve in rainy season. We have nurtured about 400 seaweed plants and will distribute these saplings to other growers at the end of rainy season,” said Thein Naing, an officer from the Fishery Department.

The seaweed is not native to Myanmar and Japanese experts have tested it for possible commercial cultivation purpose. Commercial seaweed farming near the pristine islands that make up the Myeik or Mergui Archipelago in southern Myanmar began six years ago. A Korea-based MSC Company invested millions of dollars in this project by providing technical know-how and agricultural equipment to growers. The endangered green specie of seaweed was widely cultivated in Myeik Archipelago during previous years but currently only brown species are cultivated.