The declaration will be conducted by the minister at the coordination meeting opening of marine and fishery affairs in Bungku, Central Sulawesi, the capital of Morowali district, about 500 km southeast of Palu city , on February 25, Head of Central Sulawesi Marine Affairs and Fishery Office, Hasanuddin Atjo noted.
According to him, Morowali district whose territory includes most of Tolo gulf is now the largest seaweed producer in Central Sulawesi.
"Right now Tolo gulf contributes seaweed production about 70 percent of the total production of Central Sulawesi in 2010 which reached 790,000 tons of wet seaweed," Hasanuddin said.
In addition, Morowali is actively developing seaweed farming types glacilaria in the milk fish ponds area led by PT.Argarindo Bogatama Indonesia, he added.
Therefore, the Minister of Marine and Fishery Affairs, Fadel Muhammad has promised a special allocation from the state budget amounting to Rp3 billion to develop seaweed in Morowali.
"This is the largest funding allocation for the seaweed development among ten districts in Central Sulawesi," Hasanuddin explained.
There are three main reasons why Tolo Bay was chosen as the center of the seaweed development namely it has a great potential for both types of superior seaweed that is cottoni and glacilaria and commitment of the local administration in the marine commodities development.
In addition, currently, in Morowali there is an investors seaweed which is PT Argarindo Bogatama Indonesia which operate to develop seaweed farming types gracilaria.
"If the production of seaweed farmers will have fulfilled the economic scale production needed, PT Argarindo will develop the processing industry," Hasanuddin said.
Besides the Ministry of Marine and Fishery Affairs, the Minister for Acceleration of Development of Disadvantaged Regions will also provide funding of about Rp1,5 billion for the empowerment of fishermen seaweed farmers in the region as well as the ministry of industry and cooperatives, provincial administration and local districts.
Hasanuddin said, in five years (2010-2014), Central Sulawesi increase in seaweed production target of about 30 percent per year so that by 2014 the total production will reach nearly two million tons.
There are three clusters of seaweed cultivation in Central Sulawesi province namely Makassar Strait and Sulawesi Sea, Tomini Gulf as well as Tolo Gulf.(*)