Malaysia harbours an extensive coastline of 4,675 km with 418 000 km2 of continental shelf area which provides natural habitats for the marine seaweeds. Currently, there is a total of 402 taxa of seaweeds being recorded which comprising Chlorophyta (13 families, 110 taxa), Rhodophyta (27 families, 189 taxa), Phaeophyta (8 families, 86 taxa) and Cyanophyta (8 families, 17 taxa). Hence, these have provided natural ecosystem for farming seaweeds in Malaysia. In fact, Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) L.M.Liao, the main cultivar of eucheumatoid was first described from Karindingan Island on Creagh Reef, Sabah. The seaweeds cultivation of Eucheumatoids was initiated in the 1970s at Semporna, Sabah with the assistance from Maxwell Doty and teams but it was not successful as then traditional methods were used which resulted in low productivity.  From the 1980s, the government took over the project by giving various assistance to the farmers as well funding for research & development, these have subsequently increased the production of eucheumatoids in Sabah and established the seaweed aquaculture in Sabah.  Today, Malaysia is the world’s third largest producer for eucheumatoids but there is a declined of production since 2012.  Studies have shown that there could be due to several factors that might possibly cause the decline of the production. In this paper, we will discuss the factors as well as suggestions to mitigate the problems in achieving a sustainable aquaculture industry in Malaysia. 

Nelson Vadassery

Passionate about farming the oceans for large volumes of seaweed.