The Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP accompanied with the Deputy Director for Administration, the Managers and Head Units warmly welcomed the visit of the Assistant Deputy for Maritime Resources and Downstreaming, Assistant Deputy for Aquaculture Development and Professional Experts from the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment, the Regent of Southeast Maluku and the directors of private companies in seaweed industries. The visit held on 14 January 2022 aimed to strengthen the provision of seaweed seedlings in supporting seaweed cultivation in the Regency of Southeast Maluku.
Seaweed has long been a primadonna of aquaculture commodities from Indonesia. In 2020, Indonesia is the second-largest seaweed producer worldwide after China, with an export volume of 195,574 tonnes valued at USD 278.58 million in 2020 (https://kkp.go.id/djpb/artikel/32618-tingkatkan-pertumbuhan-ekonomi-kkp-komitmen-genjot-produksi-rumput-laut). Even during the pandemic, Indonesia’s seaweed export for the period of January-October 2021 increased by 11.68% compared to the same period in 2020 (https://www.suara.com/bisnis/2021/12/27/164000/ekspor-rumput-laut-indonesia-meningkat-di-tengah-pandemi).
This promising export potential of seaweed has urged the Government of Indonesia to strengthen the seaweed as an export commodity. Among efforts is to develop promising locations for seaweed cultivation. Southeast Maluku Regency is among potential locations for seaweed cultivation. Along with its scenic and beautiful sites, the Regency has quite an amount of seaweed fishermen and several seaweed industries. The seaweed cultivation areas are already mapped in accordance with environmental zoning areas based on the survey conducted by the Southeast Maluku Regency Office of Environment and Forestry.
The main constraint of seaweed cultivation in the Southeast Maluku Regency is the sustainability of superior seaweed seedlings provision. Based on the long search within research institutions, it is finally found that SEAMEO BIOTROP has a long experience in seaweed propagation by using tissue culture techniques for producing superior and sustainable seaweed seedlings.
The discussion during this visit led to focused planning that a laboratory for superior and sustainable seaweed seedlings should be established in the area nearby the seaweed cultivation areas in the Southeast Maluku Regency. SEAMEO BIOTROP involves in this planning as a resource to conduct technology transfer on seaweed propagation by using tissue culture techniques for producing superior and sustainable seaweed seedlings. (sis, hcn).