Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 789–796 | Cite as

The commercial red seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii—an overview on farming and environment

Article

Abstract

Commercial cultivation of the red alga Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) Doty has been satisfying the demand of the carrageenan industry for more than 40 years. For the past four decades, this species has been globally introduced to many maritime countries for experimental and commercial cultivation as a sustainable alternate livelihood for coastal villagers. Accompanying the introduction is an increasing concern over the species effects on the biodiversity of endemic ecosystems. The introductions of non-endemic cultivars have resulted in the adaptation of quarantine procedures to minimize bioinvasions of additional invasive species. The present review focuses on Kappaphycus farming techniques through the application of biotechnological tools, ecological interactions with endemic ecosystems, future K. alvarezii farming potentials in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, and the challenges for prospective farmers, i.e., low raw material market value, diseases, grazing, etc. The introduction of Kappaphycus cultivation to tropical countries will continue due to the high production values realized, coastal villages searching for alternative livelihoods, and the increased global industrial demand for carrageenan.

Keywords

Alternative livelihood Commercial cultivation Global introduction Kappaphycus alvarezii EIA 

Notes

Acknowledgments

MS Bindu is thankful to the United States India Education Foundation (USIEF), New Delhi for the award of Fulbright Fellowship under the Indo-American Environmental Leadership Program (F-IAELP) 2008 and also to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), Washington DC for facilitating the Program. The authors express their deep sense of gratitude to the Lewiston-Auburn College, University of Southern Maine for providing the necessity facilities for the program. The authors are also thankful to Dr. Dinabandhu Sahoo, University of Delhi for his constant encouragement and support.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of KeralaKeralaIndia
  2. 2.Natural & Applied Sciences, Lewiston-Auburn CollegeUniversity of Southern MaineLewistonUSA

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