Ethnobiological and Post-Production Uses for Seaweed in Zanzibar

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Petra Adrienne Laptiste


This paper will recommend three ingenious and sustainable post-production uses that will increase the income of seaweed farmers in Zanzibar, Tanzania who began the cultivation of seaweed as recently as the late. My recommendations arise firstly from personal observation while visiting the island in December 2018 and March 2017-2019; I was able to identify several species of seaweed along the coastline and witness the cultivation of seaweed by local farmers. And secondly, from the examination of the ethnobiological utilization of seaweed in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island (Canada), Barbados, St. Lucia, and Ireland. I will examine the geography and colonial history of the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, the types of seaweed that are used in processing, the physical benefits of seaweed for human consumption, and how the cultivation of seaweed can benefit the local economy in other ways besides export. By exploring Zanzibar’s colonial past, I want to encourage the locals to empower themselves from economic hardship by incorporating ingenious post-production methods that have yet to be implemented. The creative utilization of the dried seaweed species found in Zanzibar’s intertidal zone can yield positive economic growth for villagers along the eastern Indian Ocean.

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