Ethnobotany of Sargassum spp. in the Philippines

Source: OAI

ABSTRACT A survey of folk uses of Sargassum spp. in the 20 year period (1977-1996) showed that different regions in the tropical country of Philippines utilize the brown seaweed differently. Common to the entire country was the use of Sargassum spp. as cover or wrapper of fish and other marine animals to maintain their freshness. In the Ilocos Region in the North, most folk consider it as a vegetable. Whereas in the Visayas and Northern Mindanao, natives utilize Sargassum as fertilizer, flower inducer and insect repellant. Cebuano and Boholano communities in the area also use the seaweed as animal feed in addition to those mentioned previously. In certain parts of the island of Bohol, a Sargassum drink is made and is reported to have health benefits. However, there is a declining trend of the folk uses of Sargassum due to Western and modern influences.

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    ABSTRACT: Increasing biofuel production on agricultural lands in tropical island nations will likely result in increased deforestation [1], and also inflate food prices, especially in net food importing countries like the Philippines [0010], [0015] and [0020]. Compounding problems associated with promotion of biofuels in southeast Asian countries are the technical efficiencies of bioethanol production, including poor energy balances from terrestrial crops that are close to, or less than unity, unless bagasse is used as the distillation heat source [1]. As the increase in terrestrial biofuel production in Pacific island nations is potentially less sustainable than is publically stated, alternative feedstocks are required which retain the regional development benefits, while reducing the negative ecological and food security impacts [0005] and [0025]. This work presents the potential of farmed macroalgae chemical substrates as a bioethanol feedstock supply, explores macroalgae-to-bioethanol yields, and details prospective non-food macroalgae species, specific to the Philippine coastal region. Leveraging off the existing capability of the macroalgae farming industry (producing 1.7 million wet tonnes annually in the Philippines alone), a significant new market for non-food macroalgae stimulated by bioethanol producers can be developed to avoid problems related to food/feed grade ethanol feedstocks.
    Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 12/2011; 15(9):4432-4435. DOI:10.1016/j.rser.2011.07.109 · 5.51 Impact Factor