THE Fisheries Department will introduce a species of seaweed to villages in Cakaudrove in February next year.
Senior fisheries officer Savusavu Semisi Meo said the species Eucheuma Cottonii, commonly known as cottonii, was being quarantined in Kiuva and would be introduced in the province. Mr Meo revealed this during the Cakaudrove Provincial Council meeting, stating that cotonnii only took four weeks to mature compared to other species farmed in the province which took six weeks to mature.
"The cotonnii is a main source of carrageenan which is a vegetarian alternative to gelatine and is used for the production of desserts, condensed milk, ice cream, beer, toothpaste, shampoo, soy milk and cosmetics," he said.
"We had brought a sample in the past but it had not progressed well because of the timing which was not considered.
"February to April is the best season to cultivate the seaweed and the most favourable system of farming that we are looking at is longline planting.
Mr Meo said the department was also looking at revitalising seaweed in villages across the province as the commodity was in demand.