The Philippine seaweed industry
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A brief outline is given of the Philippine seaweed industry, which involves mainly the red seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii, produced as a source of the semi-refined or Philippine natural grade (PNG) carrageenan. Other species cultured and marketed include: Gracilaria changii, G.firma, G.heteroclada, G.manilaensis and G.tenuistipitata. The Philippines has the largest carrageenan refinery in Asia. However, production of seaweeds is rather eratic, which is attributed to the following factors: 1) indiscriminate harvesting, seasonal abundance of different species in different areas and lack of proper management; 2) shortage and deteriorating quality of seedlings, especially for Kappaphycus; and 3) natural calamaties.