“Seaweed farming helps protect our remaining coastal resources by building up other marine life and providing alternative livelihood for coastal fishermen, who might have otherwise have resorted to cyanide and dynamite fishing.”

Development of alternative livelihoods has become a popular policy to uplift the socio- economic status of small-scale fishers and to reduce fishing pressure on overexploited fisheries. Seaweed farming has been incorporated into many community-based coastal resources management projects and fisheries management initiatives as an alternative livelihood option for fishers in tropical developing countries.

A seaweed farmer in Nusa Lembongan can never have a typical day. The cycle of seaweed farming is set by two key aspects. One, the ebb and flow of the tide. Seaweed can only be farmed when the tide is low, so if it needs to be cropped and the low tide is at two in the morning, farmers must drag themselves from their beds to work under the light of lamps until dawn.

The work is tedious and hard. “Young people don’t want to follow in the path of their parents. They choose to work in tourism,” Made Sutra of Jungutbatu village said while collecting seaweed to be dried under the sun.

According to him, soon this beautiful movement of boats coming and going will no longer exist.

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