FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 187FIRI/T187

A Review of World Literature

E. C. S. Little
Kerikeri, Bay of Islands
New Zealand

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-100825-6

The copyright in this book is vested in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, by any method or process, without written permission from the copyright holder. Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction desired, should be addressed to the Director, Publications Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.



The Fisheries Department of FAO has a special interest in the control and utilization of aquatic plants owing to the frequency with which such vegetation interferes or is thought to interfere with fish production in inland waters, especially in the tropics. Dr. E. C. S. Little's handbook, Utilization of aquatic plants (1968) proved very useful to workers concerned with such problems, but is no longer available. Dr. Little has revised and expanded the handbook for FAO to bring it up to date.

Distribution Bibliographic reference
FAO Department of Fisheries
FAO Regional Fisheries Officers
FAO Country Representatives and Senior Agricultural Advisers
Selector SI
Selector SM
Little, E. C. S. (1979)
FAO Fish.Tech.Pap., (187): 176 p.
Handbook of utilization of aquatic plants
Manuals. Aquatic plants. Exploitation.
Bibliographies. Literature reviews.


There are many kinds of aquatic plants which are, or could be, utilized for such purposes as feeds, fuel, building materials, soil improvement and water purification. As some of these plants can also be a nuisance to fisheries, water transportation, or water supply systems, it is desirable to find ways of controlling such vegetation by harvesting and using it. The water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes, is a well-known example of a nuisance plant which could be used in many ways.

This volume provides a comprehensive reference to all of the important aspects of utilization of aquatic plants, listing, with annotations, more than 250 books, scientific papers and other publications. The largest section concerns the chemical composition and productivity of various species and a large number of analytical results are quoted. Also included are sections on harvesting and protein extraction, as well as on the various types of uses of these plants. An author index and an index of plants are included.

Hyperlinks to non-FAO Internet sites do not imply any official endorsement of or responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data or products presented at these locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided. The sole purpose of links to non-FAO sites is to indicate further information available on related topics.


II.Reviews and Bibliographies
III.Water, Mineral and Protein Content, and Productivity of Aquatic Plants
IV.Methods of Harvesting
 1.Hand Harvesting
 2.Mechanical Harvesting
V.Protein Extraction
VI.Aquatic Plants for Human Food
VII.Aquatic Plants for Livestock Food
 1.Cattle and Sheep
VIII.Food for Fish and Aquatic Animals
IX.Fertilizer, Compost, Mulching and Weed Control
X.Water Purification
XI.Miscellaneous Uses
 2.Paper and Building Materials
XIII. References Cited
XIV.Author Index
XV.Index of Plants