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Seaweed value chain: a case study in Pantar Island, Eastern Indonesia

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  • Indonesia is the biggest seaweed producer in the world. Seaweed (Eucheuma spp) has become a popular alternative livelihood activity in Indonesia as a way to diversify livelihood activities and thereby improve household livelihood outcomes with added incomes. It is relative easy form of aquaculture to implement at the producer level. However, there are problems in maintaining and increasing local seaweed production and upgrading the value of seaweed. In this paper we report on the results of research using a value chain analysis (VCA) of seaweed production in Pantar Island in order to identify constraints in the development of seaweed industry in the region and identify ways to improve the participation of coastal communities in the value chain. The data was collected through focus group discussions with local producers in four villages in Pantar and key informant interviews with traders, industry players and policy makers in Indonesia. A discussion of key issues, relative benefits obtained by producers and other actors from the value chain and ways to enhance the livelihoods of coastal communities is provided. The results reveal how the trade in seaweed is embedded in complex social, economic and cultural contexts which determine the form of business transactions from one actor to others along the chain.
  • Keywords: Fisheries Economics, Markets and Trade, Fisheries Enhancement and Alternative Livelihoods
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  • Fitriana, Ria and N. Stacey. 2014. Seaweed value chain: a case study in Pantar Island, Eastern Indonesia. In: Towards ecosystem based management of fisheries: what role can economics play?: Proceedings of the Seventeenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 7-11, 2014, Brisbane, Australia. Complied by Ann L. Shriver & Melissa Errend. Corvallis, OR: International Institute of Fisheries.
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  • Fisheries Research & Development Corporation, World Wildlife Fund, MG Kailis Group, AquaFish Innovation Lab, NOAA Fisheries, The European Association of Fisheries Economists, Japan International Fisheries Research Society, United Nations University, NORAD
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