The budget of 2021 was proposed by our Hon’ble Finance Minister and it had several proposals targeting upon sustainability along with economic development. The path towards ensuring a sustainable habitat ensures us that there is still a hope that our environment would be focused upon even in the midst of Developmental race. The proposal of establishing a seaweed park in Tamil Nadu to promote seaweed farming and cultivation is one amongst the many signs that the country has come up to with. The farming of seaweed dates back to the 15th century and it is widely been practised in the countries of Japan, Korea, Indonesia, China, Philippines. Seaweed has a very positive environmental impact, it can remove toxins from seawater as it grows. Farming seaweed has been shown to potentially have a negative carbon footprint, absorbing 20% more carbon dioxide than it produces, according to a World Bank survey. According to Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment Research found that seaweed aquaculture can help combat eutrophication. It acts a natural filter and removes pollutants from the environment. It also helps terrestrial farmers when it is being used as a fertilizer. Along with this, it can also be used for commercial purpose when it is being converted into a plastic which is reusable hence, protects the environment.
The growth of the seaweed aquaculture industry is good for the economy and good for the ocean. The process of growing seaweed is environmentally friendly. Apart from planting the seeds and ensuring the seaweed is in a clean environment, seaweed often does not need feed or additional attention. The plants can grow naturally. Safe and sustainable seaweed aquaculture might be the much needed solution to the question of responsibly feeding the world’s growing population. Thus, the potential ‘green’ impact of harvesting seaweed on current food production is profound. Seaweeds are a highly renewable food resource. They can be grown and harvested all year round, in any marine environment. Production is low impact – seaweeds need no chemicals, fertilisers or pesticides, they require no deforestation or freshwater to grow. But along with the advantages of its farming there are possible disadvantages as well. Unregulated seaweed farming could also lead to other deleterious impacts, including the reduction of genetic diversity of native seaweed stocks due to mono-cropping. It could also result in a slew of bad farm management practices, such as placing cultivation nets too close together. This could increase the risk of disease transfer or the illegal use of algicides and pesticides which could have detrimental and environmental consequences.
The agricultural industry would be more benefited when seaweed farming is enhanced as the seaweed which is being used as a fertilizer is an organic fertilizer and it is nutrient rich. It is easily absorbed by the plants. These microorganisms can act as catalysts in the circulation of plant- microbial metabolites, increasing the biological effectiveness of the soil. The seaweed fertilizers are non-toxic and safe thus protects the environment. Slowly but rightly we are heading towards the path of protecting our environment which has longly been neglected due to the abundant focus upon only to the economic and developmental activities. Focusing upon the sustainable activities which would perhaps create a sustainable environment where the air we breathe is safe and the marine which we have are non-toxic. The proposals of seaweed farm is just a step towards creating and nurturing a better environment where along with the environmental protection it also created a commercial advantage thus creating a better and a balanced ‘Green’ world.
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