Most of the villagers are involved in seaweed farming. It consumes their everyday life, which revolves around the tides and the particular stage of cultivation. The areas used for farming must be relatively shallow and sheltered from the ocean swells. The farming plots look like a giant patchwork quilt as the tide recedes.

The seaweed grown at the island produces carrageenan which is used as an ingredient in food production and cosmetics around the world. Carrageenan is a thickener used in hand lotions and shampoos and interacts with human carotene to give soft skin and silky hair.


During cultivation the offshoots are taken from the parent plant and attached to lines which are anchored to the bottom of the ocean by wooden stakes. The new seedlings are then able to be harvested in approx 4 to 6 weeks.

After harvesting they are laid out to dry, usually for several days, before being sent to market to be sold. The seaweed farmers receive between 600 rupiah and 3,500 rupiah per kilo depending on the type of seaweed and the market value of the day.

Local Farmer Seaweed