Seaweed an increasingly fragile lifeline for Philippine farmers

This Mongabay article addresses the changes in seaweed aquaculture in the Philippines. Commercial seaweed farming in the Philippines has grown into a prominent aquaculture economy in the region, but a changing climate and warming waters have put seaweed farms and the people who operate them at risk.

“In many coastal communities, seaweed farming also has proven its value as a way to help address poverty and environmental issues, such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF), and degradation of quality of habitat for endangered marine life. However, climate change that triggers seaweed disease and pest problems is becoming a threat to this industry, leaving Gimotea and many others worried about their families’ futures.”

Keith Anthony S. Fabro, Mongabay News, 1 September 2022

A precautionary approach to the growing seaweed industry in North America must take into account the risks of a changing climate that are already appearing in seaweed aquaculture around the world. It also means considering our disproportionate climate impact as individuals, organizations, businesses and communities in North America. Our work as a seaweed commons is not only to protect North American waters and coastal communities, but the global coastal community and macroalgal ecosystems - particularly those most affected by climate change. The work towards healthy, vibrant seaweed economies requires global solidarity. We hope you will read and learn about global seaweed mariculture alongside us and help us to situate our work within a framework of environmental justice and democratic economies.