2007 Finalist Projects

S.O.S: SAVE OUR SEAWEED

Ider Project - BRAZIL

Sustainable Algae Cultivation and Marketing

The seaweed of Brazil’s North Eastern coast is much in demand by the country’s meat, dairy and cosmetics industries. For many decades, coastal communities were able to supply this demand by simply collecting the plants from the rocks. But in recent years, over-harvesting has led to the collapse of seaweed beds across long stretches of Brazil’s coastline. This has in turn led to a decline in fish stocks, leaving fishermen – as well as seaweed collectors – out of work. The project is working to repair the damage by encouraging traditional fishing communities to cultivate a sustainable supply of seaweed. Seaweed seeds are attached to anchored ropes. Within two months they have grown into full-size plants ready for harvesting. The seaweed is then dehydrated using solar-powered cleaning and drying machines. The villagers are now selling their product for a much higher price than they used to get for their unfarmed seaweed. And fishermen are reporting a heartening recovery in seaweed-dependent fish stocks.

For further information click here: http://www.ider.org.br/

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