Water hyacinths damage seaweed farms in Illana Bay

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/27 June) – Water hyacinths that were said to have worsened the flood in Cotabato City last week and drifted to Illana Bay have damaged some 800 hectares of seaweed farm off Parang town in Maguindanao.

According to the Presidential Task Force on Mindanao River Basin Rehabilitation and Development, the damage has affected the livelihood of some 500 families.

Reports placed the damage at P5 million forcing the seaweed farmers to prematurely harvest the agar-agar to recoup some of their losses.

Seaweeds are a leading export of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The task force said they will find ways to scatter the water hyacinths that had drifted from Liguasan Marsh to lessen the damage they would cause once they reach Illana Bay.

Nathaniel Campo, task force deputy director said the hyacinths would not easily submerge because of their size and their long roots destroyed the foundation of the seaweed farms. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)