117 sea-weeds in Bay of Bengal identified for cultivation
A Correspondent :
The 710 km long sea beach and 25,000 sq km wide coastal area of the district are suitable for sea-weed cultivation.
Scientists of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) of the district have identified 117 varieties of sea-weed after six years of their research. Of these, they proved that 10 varieties are exportable and commercially profitable.
Director General (DG) of BFRI and renowned fisheries scientist Dr Yahia Mahmud called for using the invented technology of the scientists at field level in order to strengthen the blue economy of the country.
The information was unveiled at a recent workshop entitled "Prospects of sea weed cultivation at Cox's Bazar coastal area and things to do" by Marine Fisheries and Technology Station (MFTS) of BFRI.
BFRI DG Dr Yahia Mahmud said, "If the technology invented by the scientists is not used at field level, it is of no use to invent anything. We need to use the marine resources at most to strengthen the blue economy."
The research says that the sea-weed is locally known as 'Hejala".
MFTS of BFRI of the district have been conducting research since 2013.
The research found that sea-weed could be cultivated naturally from Nuniachara to Nazirartek area of Bakkhali River-Maheshkhali Channel estuarine at Sadar Upazila of the district and at different areas of Maheshkhali Island.
The researchers of the institute have evaluated the nutritious values and the adaptability of the invented varieties of the sea weeds.
The scientists of the institute have so far identified 117 varieties of sea-weed. They have also determined the nutritional values of the sea-weeds.
It also has prospects to be used as raw materials in food and industrial sectors.
Besides using it as food grain, it can be used as raw material in medicine, textile, papers, and gel type of production.
Besides, it can be used as fertiliser on the land, food grain for animals and in producing salt.
Sea weed is rich in minerals. It has received acceptability to be used as food grain.
These sea weeds are high in protein, calcium, potassium and other important mineral essential for human body. The scientists said that the nutritional values of the sea weeds are effective in treating heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and iodine related goitre disease.
Sea weeds can be used to lower the cholesterol level in blood. It can be used to prevent goitre.
Although the sea weed does not have popularity as food grain in the country, it has high demand and high price in the international market said, Dr Yahia Mahmud.
He thinks that huge foreign currency can be earned by exporting these to abroad.
The scientists highlighting the research said that most sea weeds grow at Teknaf Saint Martin's Island and Inani areas.
The scientists further said sea weeds generally grow on big stones, coral, shell of oyster and snail, tree roots and hard soil.
They also said the growth of sea weeds is higher in Bangladesh than that of India. The weeds can be cultivated for 210 days in a year in India but only for 90 days in Bangladesh.
The scientists said sea weed can be cultivated in six months from November to May at different places in the country. The most favourable time for the cultivation is in between January to March.
The institute has invented the cultivation technology of growing the weeds in horizontal netting process by using coconut rope and nylon fishing net.
In this technology, cultivations of three types of sea weeds have been invented.
The productivity of Hipnia variety of sea weed is similar to that of India.