Substantial quantities of Cladosiphon exist in Tonga. Present extraction has shown that collection of only a portion of the standing stock is commercially viable. Adequate assessment of the presence of Cladosiphon early in the year would allow more efficient exploitation. The algal resource in the Ha'apai appears to occur in commercial quantities. The short seasonality and lack of habitat in the Vava'u group requires further investigations during the growing season. The most abundant source of the algae is in the western embayment on Tongatapu I., south of Maria Bay. Though unlikely to yield large quantities, the area around 'Onevai bears further investigation.
Recommendations for maximising the 1997 harvest
The most immediate way to maximise harvest is to increase the size of the processing facilities. At the end of the 1996 season there was substantial material remaining in the field. At Navutoka and south of Maria Bay their was substantial material in the field at the end of the season.
The area at Felemea Bay, 'Uiha is promising in terms of its commercial potential. Vava'u needs to be surveyed during June or July to assess the quantities there.
The best way to manage the resource at all sites is to survey the known areas of abundance as early in the season as May. With knowledge of the amount of material available, the processing facilities could be arranged accordingly. The harvest should then be managed with an efficiency that includes records on the extent of the locality and quantities harvested per area.
If management of the work force is not realistic then they should be made aware of the need to assess the quantities present in the field so some idea can be had as to its extent and to harvest it progressively rather than piecemeal.
Sporulation should be investigated by establishing settlement plates to establish its seasonal period. To obtain good settlement, the abundance of and proximity to the parent stock are important parameters and need to be investigated.