Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 26, 2019

The seaweed resources of Malaysia

Siew-Moi Phang, Hui-Yin Yeong and Phaik-Eem Lim
From the journal Botanica Marina

Abstract

The extensive coastline and numerous islands of Malaysia provide various habitats suitable for the growth of a diversity of the marine macroalgae (seaweeds). Since the last checklist of the Malaysian seaweeds was published in 2006, there has been an increase of 17 families, 32 genera, and 75 species. Seven new species were described. The present tally stands at 459 taxa in 72 families; with 35 species in 12 families of Cyanophyta; 113 species in 16 families of Chlorophyta; 95 species in 8 families of Ochrophyta; and 216 species in 36 families of Rhodophyta. Only three species, Kappaphycus alvarezii, Eucheuma denticulatum and Gracilaria manilaensis, are being cultivated commercially. A small seaweed industry centered in Sabah, produces semi-refined carrageenan, which is mainly exported. Some of the biomass is brought over to Peninsular Malaysia, where seaweed products like desserts, health drinks, soaps and air-fresheners, are manufactured and sold. In 2016, Malaysia produced 205,989 tonnes wet weight seaweeds valued at US$24.83 million. The seaweed industry, can be enhanced by increasing the number of farms and farmers, strengthening local seaweed cooperatives and including them in decision-making, as well as by technological advances in the form of new and improved strains, more efficient seed supply and products.

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Dr. Adibi M. Nor, Fisheries Department of Malaysia for information on the seaweed industry in Malaysia. We would also like to acknowledge the following research grants that contributed to this publication: UM Grand Challenge Programme (GC002B-15SBS, Development of offshore and onshore systems for cultivation of selected seaweeds), UM Algae (GA003-2012) and HICoE MOHE: IOES-2014F.

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Article note

This article is part of the special issue series of Botanica Marina: Seaweed resources of the world: a 2020 vision, starting publication in Botanica Marina 2019, vol. 62, issue 3. The series will be guest-edited by Alan T. Critchley, Anicia Hurtado, Leonel Pereira, Melania Cornish, Danilo Largo and Nicholas Paul.

Received: 2018-07-06
Accepted: 2019-01-23
Published Online: 2019-03-26
Published in Print: 2019-06-26

©2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston