HCM CITY — Farming of seaweed, a promising seafood product, will be encouraged, the Directorate of Fisheries has said.
A report it tabled at a conference titled “Current State and Outlook for Việt Nam Seaweed Sector” in HCM City yesterday projects annual growth in seaweed output at 5.3 per cent and 3.3 per cent in terms of area.
Nguyễn Bá Sơn of the directorate said by 2020 the output would rise to 137,500 tonnes and the total area under seaweed to 12,600ha, up from 101,600 tonnes and 10,150ha last year.
Seaweed would be raised on islands and lagoons to increase yield, he said. To achieve the goal, research would be done to develop high-quality seaweed products.
He called on processing companies to improve their technologies to meet the high demand in the domestic and international markets.
Experts told the conference that Việt Nam has ideal conditions to farm seaweed, thanks to a 3,260km coastline and 1 million square kilometers of water surface.
Ngô Đăng Nghĩa, director of the Institute for Biological Technology and Environment, said the country has more than 800 species of seaweed.
“Việt Nam has [good] conditions to grow seaweed,” he said, pointing to the large ocean surface area and good environment.
Seaweed has beneficial health effects like reducing cholesterol and preventing certain types of cancers as well as cardiovascular diseases, he said.
It can also be used to make food products as well as cosmetics, he said. The use of seaweed is becoming very popular in Việt Nam as South Koreans and Japanese come to the country, bringing with them a habit of consuming it daily.
Nghĩa said many investors have started to explore this new sector on seeing the potential.
He said the Government should study the sector’s potential to develop it.
Nguyễn Thị Thu Sắc, deputy chairwoman of the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors, said both the Government and companies have underestimated the potential of the industry because they thought Vietnamese do not like seaweed because of its taste.
It is time to draft plans to develop the sector, she said.
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