Seaweed biosecurity in Tanzania: Lessons to be learned from other major plant crops

A decline in seaweed production in Tanzania is attributed to a rising prevalence of pathogens that have subsequently reduced the quantity and commercial value of the crop. This constraint has led to severe socio-economic implications for the seaweed industry, threatening the livelihoods of tens of thousands of farmers. Despite the growing demands for seaweed biomass and its significant economic benefits for low- and mid-income earners, the fundamental development of seaweed aquaculture lags far behind that of terrestrial agriculture in terms of biosecurity and technology of production practices.

This paper highlights the biosecurity mitigation measures implemented in the agricultural sector in Tanzania that could be adapted to the seaweed cultivation industry: the use of disease-resistant seedlings; use of fertilizer; site selection; quarantine; preferential selection; pruning; timing of planting; crop rotation; intercropping and pathogen surveillance. These mitigations supported by biosecurity legislation and policies would contribute to increasing production yields and greater economic returns for the seaweed farmers.


Ndawala MA, Msuya FE, Cabarubias JP, Buriyo A, Cottier-Cook EJ

Environmental Challenges 5
10, 13, 2021
Pages: 100319
DOI: 10.1016/j.envc.2021.100319