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Habitat preference for seaweed farming - A case study from Zanzibar, Tanzania
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 6
2018 (English)In: Ocean and Coastal Management, ISSN 0964-5691, E-ISSN 1873-524X, Vol. 154, p. 186-195Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Global marine seaweed aquaculture is growing rapidly. In Zanzibar, Tanzania, seaweed farming, primarily conducted by women, is the main coastal aquaculture activity. Many types of aquaculture are linked to a specific ecosystem (e.g. shrimp-mangrove), and understanding if such a coupling exists for seaweed farming important for further development. A prerequisite to understand if farming affects coastal habitats is the need to know where, and on which habitat, the farms are located. In this study, we investigated the habitat preferences of seaweed farmers by interviews, field observations and satellite imagery analysis. We found that the majority of the farms were distributed in a narrow corridor (380-600 m from shore) along the coast where water depth (x) over bar = 2 m) and tidal regime (+/- 2 m) allow for a suitable environment for both the algae and the farmers. Within this corridor, thus defined by depth, the water is deep enough for the algae not to be overexposed to sunlight but also sufficiently shallow for the women to access and work on the farms at low tide. The farmers accordingly expressed depth as the major limiting factor when choosing the site for their farms, and the preferred habitat type was seagrass beds. Most farms (92%) were partly located on seagrass meadows, but also other habitats, such as sand. The total area of the studied seaweed farms was 65.6 ha, with 39% of this being seagrass meadow, which is significantly more than the seagrass cover in the farming corridor. The farms also covered 43% sand; however, the interviews indicate that a substantial part of the sandy areas was, in fact, also recently covered by seagrasses. Our findings are relevant for improved management, conservation, and marine spatial planning, as we show where and on which habitats seaweed farms are preferably located. This information can be used to further investigate the ecological impact on the habitats and their associated fauna and in order to provide more effective management actions. Furthermore, this is much-needed baseline information for investigating the increased production of seaweed, i.e. if the habitat has any effect on the algae growth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 154, p. 186-195
Keyword [en]
Seagrass, Aquaculture, Mariculture, Algae, Eucheuma denticulation, Kappaphycus alvarezii
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-154711DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2018.01.016ISI: 000426408600019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-154711DiVA, id: diva2:1195003
Available from: 2018-04-04 Created: 2018-04-04 Last updated: 2018-04-04Bibliographically approved

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Hedberg, Nilsvon Schreeb, KristinaTedengren, MichaelMtwana Nordlund, Lina
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Ocean and Coastal Management
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