Rising ocean surface water temperatures are reducing the economic productivity of seaweed farming, a shore-based aquaculture industry. Additionally, the traditional peg-and-rope seaweed farming techniques used in the Western Indian Ocean Region expose many women seaweed farmers to the environmental and physical hazards of work in the open ocean.
Dr. Flower Msuya of the Institute of Marine Sciences, in Zanzibar, and her team of international partners are adapting a new “tubular net” technology to improve conditions for these women farmers. Nets that are easier to operate would raise and stabilize seaweed production, increase income and improve livelihoods for farmers in remote areas of Zanzibar.
What makes seaweed farming in Tanzania different from other forms of aquatic production? More than 70% of Tanzanian seaweed farmers are women, and SEA PoWer’s work will trigger the transformational change needed to enhance their livelihoods and propel them toward a higher social and economic status in their communities.