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RARUMANA, Solomon Islands (PFnet, Oct. 27) – About 30 tons of seaweed were shipped on Oct. 5 from Rarumana Island in the Solomon islands Western Province, following a delay due to bad weather.

Some 650 bags of seaweed were loaded for shipment. It was not immediately clear where the shipment went.

Seaweed farming began in the Solomon Islands in 1989 through the British Overseas Development Agency at Vona Vona lagoon and Rarumana village.

In the Pacific, seaweed farming is well established in Kiribati and has been reestablished in Fiji. Seaweed farming is a growing industry in Solomon Islands.

There are currently more than 100 farmers both in Rarumana and the Shortland Islands in the Western Province and 150 in Wagina, Choiseul Province.

There are also seaweed farmers in Malaita, Makira-Ulawa and the Temotu Provinces.

Worldwide seaweed production is about 160,000 tons, with the major producers being the Philippines, Indonesia, Tanzania and Madagascar.

In the Pacific Kiribati, Fiji and Solomon Islands are involved in the seaweed production.

The seaweed species farmed in Solomon Islands can be used for toothpaste, flavoured-milk drink and pet food.

Solomon Seaweed Company in Honiara in March made its first shipment, of 33 tons of dried seaweed, to France

The recent loading at Rarumana was not without accident as some bags fell overboard when transferring them from the boat to the ship.

Fortunately, the Solomon Seaweed Ltd agent, Mr Vara, was able to recover them.

Village youths who did the loading were paid $20 (US$2.72) each; with some complaining that the payment was insufficient as no food was provided for them during the day.

The loading started at 9 a.m. and was completed around 5 p.m. before MV Ellena departed.

October 28, 2004


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