Saturday, September 6, 2008

Seaweed time in Indonesia

For people in Northern Hemisphere, there are four definitive seasons- winter, fall, summer and spring. Not from where I live in tropical Asia. We only have the wet and the dry season, yet at all times, temperatures would still be moderately warm by most standards.

Summertime in perennially sunny Southeast Asia is defined as that period of no rains, that intermission between stormy monsoons. This time is important in agriculture, or more particularly in seaweed farming.

Seaweed mariculture is agriculture but not on land but at sea. Growth-out period is around a month and a half, afterwhich the harvest is dried openly under the sun to be dried to commercial moisture levels. Drying time takes 2-4 days, depending on weather. Obviously, the stretch of dry season termed “summer” in Asia is favorable for harvesting. Cultivations cycles are planned to peak during this time to take advantage of the heat that allows faster turnover.

This series of pictures are taken in regions that are two of the seaweed hotspots in Indonesia: Bali and Lombok

Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

Ironically and fortunately, the farms of Nusa Dua also happen to be located in beaches that are beautifully pristine and heavily favored by tourists. Hotels practically are facing these farms. Tourism and seaweed farming seem to cohabitate together. For now.

the harvest
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/1000s, f/5.6, 205mm, ISO 400, -1/3EV
at Sawangan, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

harvest at Geger
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/400s, f/5.6, 300mm, ISO 100
at Geger, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

Sawangan gatherer
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/500s, f/5.6, 300mm, ISO 800,
at Sawangan, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

Serewe Bay, Lombok, Indonesia

It would be difficult to outdo Serewe Bay in East Lombok when it comes to spectacular sandy beaches, what with numerous outcropping islands and steep cliffs spread over the bay. Roads are still rough though and visitors, if any, are sparse. While still a whispered secret among beachcombers in the know, these beaches are only a heartbeat away from commercial development.

Sumerang farmer
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/2500s, f/5.6, 190mm, ISO 100, -1/3EV
at Sumerang, East Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Indonesia

unloading harvest at Serewe
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/1600s, f/5.0, 190mm, ISO 100, -1/3EV
at Serewe, East Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat, Indonesia

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Farl, It's good to see that tourism and the seaweed farms can get along. I have done a bit of reading on seaweed and it's varieties and uses. Ever since i saw Jenny playing with a piece on beach. Well since I meet you too. I have never used alginate for life casting but it is extensively used by dentists. One does not think much about seaweed and it's extensive and long history of us the food industry and medical. Bu check this out - alginate pearls and the "Molecular Cuisine" of Ferran Adria in his "Sphereification" techniques where "natural juices of fruits and vegetables are encapsulated in bubbles that "explode" on the tongue when consumed." His most famous version was "apple caviar."
Oh Farl I sure hope I find a good job soon! These beaches look great. I love the shots of the people cropping the seaweed.
~michael :)