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A woman in local colourful dress collecting seaweed on the shore of Matemwe in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Seaweed farming started in Japan in the 17th century in Tokyo Bay. In autumn, farmers would throw bamboo branches into shallow, muddy water, where the spores of the seaweed would collect. A few weeks later these branches would be moved to a river estuary. The nutrients from the river would help the seaweed to grow.

In the 1940s, the Japanese improved this method by placing nets of synthetic material tied to bamboo poles. This effectively doubled the production. A cheaper variant of this method is called the hibi method: simple ropes stretched between bamboo poles.

The practice of seaweed farming has long since spread beyond Japan. In 1997 it was estimated that 40,000 people in the Philippines made their living through seaweed farming. Cultivation is also common in all of southeast Asia, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, and the United States.

Source: Seaweed farming

Zanzibar is also a cultivation site of seaweed. Locals plant poles on the shallow waters of the coast. After a few weeks, during the low tide, they start harvesting the seaweed forming on the poles.

Sometimes, they continue their work under full sun, emerged in water till their waist. We were told that the seaweed was exported to the Far East, to be used as food ingredients.

Cropped, increased sharpness, saturation, contrast and brightness, applied gradual toning.

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Additional Photos by Erdem Kutukoglu (Suppiluliuma) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 266 W: 105 N: 604] (3931)
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