Report on a Regional Study and Workshop on the Taxonomy, Ecology and Processing of Economically Important Red Seaweeds

Food and Agriculture Organization (of the United Nations)
Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific

Bangkok, Thailand
June 1996


This volume contains the study report and proceedings of the Regional Workshop on the Taxonomy, Ecology and Processing of Economically Important Red Seaweeds, which was held in Bangkok, Thailand from 24 to 27 January 1995. The Workshop was supported by the Government of France Trust Fund with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and implemented under GCP/INT/553/FRA. The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) provided financial assistance and implemented the project. The government representatives who submitted country reports spoke as official representatives of their respective governments. The views contained in this publication do not necessarily represent those of FAO or NACA.

Reference: FAO/NACA (1996). Regional Study and Workshop on the Taxonomy, Ecology and Processing of Economically Important Red Seaweeds. NACA Environment and Aquaculture Development Series No. 3. Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand.


NACA takes pleasure and pride in bringing the results of the regional study on the Taxonomy, Ecology and Processing of Red Seaweeds to farmers, governments, research and development organisations, the private industry support sector, investment agencies and regional and international assistance organisations. This report comprises:

  1. the results of studies conducted in the nine participating countries and the status of red seaweed development in two other countries that attended the final workshop;

  2. technical reviews by resource persons from collaborating organisations and institutions in the Asia-Pacific region and France; and

  3. recommendations for follow-up action by countries and for regional collaboration in support of national efforts.

The study focused on Gracilaria species, which was of common interest among the countries because of:

The country studies and workshop results identified activity areas and methods for upgrading Gracilaria stocks to:

  1. improve agar yield and quality;

  2. improve systems of growing the species to increase production levels and make better use of natural resources; and

  3. identify other economic uses of the seaweed to enhance its utility or value.

The recommendations highlight regional co-operative action, in view of the relatively uneven state of advancement in Gracilaria research and development among the countries and the presence of a number of national and regional institutions that could be strengthened to serve as focal points and sources of expertise and technology for regional sharing. Specific areas and ways to co-operate in research, training, and information and expert exchange are recommended. The workshop however has recognised that upgrading the regional capacity from its present strength to that of self-reliance — a long-term objective — would require intensified assistance from organisations external to the region. In particular, the French Government which has for a long time provided assistance in seaweed development to various countries through collaboration with scientists and technologists in several institutions in the region, was identified as a potential long-term collaborator in seaweed culture and processing research and development.

NACA, on behalf of the participating countries in the Asia-Pacific region, would like to express it's gratitude to IFREMER and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for endorsing the project, and the Government of France for providing funding and technical support. It is hoped that the conclusions and recommendations of this study and workshop will provide a baseline from which continued collaboration, with FAO, the Government of France and further co-operation with other concerned agencies and institutions, can be successfully developed.

I take this opportunity to commend the former NACA Co-ordinator, Dr Banchong Tiensongrusmee, on his role in bringing this study and workshop to a successful conclusion.

Hassanai Kongkeo
NACA Co-ordinator

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This electronic document has been scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) software. FAO declines all responsibility for any discrepancies that may exist between the present document and its original printed version.


Part IWorkshop background and organisation
Part IICountry presentations
Part IIITechnical sessions
Part IVDiscussion
Part VRecommendations
Part VIClosing remarks

Annex I
Annex 1-1Summary of Training Workshop 21-28 April 1992
Annex I-2List of participants
Annex 1-3 aSpeech - Dr Kitjar Jaiyen
Annex I-3bSpeech - Dr Veravat Hongskul
Annex 1-3 cSpeech - Mr Alex Brayle
Annex 1-3 dSpeech - Dr Banchong Tiensongrusmee
Annex 1-4Workshop programme

Annex II

Country Reports
Annex II-1Bangladesh
Annex II-2Peoples Republic of China
Annex II-3India
Annex II-4Indonesia
Annex II-5 Malaysia
Annex II-6Myanmar
Annex II-7aPhilippines (Part I)
Annex II-7bPhilippines (Part II)
Annex II-8Thailand
Annex II-9Vietnam
Annex II-10Iran
Annex II-11Sri Lanka

Annex III

Summary of Country Reports

Annex IV

Technical Sessions
Annex IV-1An overview of the regional study on Taxonomy and ecology of Gracilaria.Khanjanapaj Lewmanomont
Annex IV-2Gracilaria culture and utilisation.R. Perez and O. Barbaroux
Annex IV-3A review of the culture of Gracilaria in Asia-Pacific and directions for future development.Gavino C. Trono Jr
Annex IV-4Taxonomy and culture of Gracilaria in the Asia -Pacific region.Chen Jiaxin and Xia Bang Mei
Annex IV-5Delimitation of species and population genetic structuring of Gracilaria verrucosa : consequences for cultivation.C. Destombe, R. Wattier, D. Bulke and M. Valero
Annex IV-6Gracilaria studies at SEAFDEC/AQD.A. Q. Hurtado-Ponce,
Annex IV-7An overview of seaweed processing technology for Gracilaria with reference to agar yield and quality.S. Chandrkrachang
Annex IV-8Future directions in Gracilaria research and valorisation.A. Alfsen
Annex IV-9Phytosanitation - Utilisation of Gracilaria in reclamation of shrimp pond effluents.K. Chaiyakam
Annex IV-10International and regional trade in seaweeds and seaweed products, with special reference to Gracilaria and agar quality standards. Wongwai
Annex IV-11Socio-economics of a coastal community in Philippines with Gracilaria seaweed production as an alternative livelihood.N. Taw
Annex IV-12Gracilaria production and trade INFOFISH.