Agri Kultuur March/ Maart 2016 - Page 78

Photo: Albert O. Amosu Ulva armoricana does well in culture due to its high growth rate, ease of harvesting and resistance to contamination. ing. Seaweeds are known to lock away atmospheric CO2. More importantly, not only do they fix dissolved inorganic carbon, but in the process they alter the local seawater chemistry and raise the pH, countering the effects of acidification. Our research has demonstrated that cultivated U. armoricana can raise the seawater pH in both small and commercial-sized operations, and thus has the potential to mitigate against ocean acidification. and low skills levels. The value of the SA seaweed sector The South African seaweed sector is small in comparison to similar fisheries. As of May 2015 it was worth about US$4.68 million, generates approximately US$2.54 million per year, and most importantly employs over 400 people. The majority of those employed are women who earn an average annual salary of ZAR60,000. This annual salary is higher than in other fisheries sectors and jobs are also more permanent. The South African seaweed industry thus has had a major economic impact within previously disadvantaged coastal communities, where any increase in employment is valuable largely because such communities are generally characterized by high unemployment rates Further Reading Maneveldt G.W. 2014. You use seaweeds for that? Agri-Kultuur/Culture 17(Aug): 34-37. South African seaweed innovations have provided many important lessons. In the last two decades the development of a seaweed aquaculture industry in South Africa has been successful largely due to sustainable innovation between both commercial abalone farms and tertiary research institutions. Maneveldt G.W. 2015. Common green seaweeds of the Cape Peninsula. Agri-Kultuur/Culture 28(July): 48-49. Maneveldt G.W. 2015. Common kelps of the Cape Peninsula. Agri-Kultuur/Culture 32(November): 70-74.