Farm Design

The cultivation method and farm design – which are highly influenced by the individual site conditions –  determine what type of equipment is needed on the seaweed farm. Anchors, ropes, culture lines and floats are essential equipment for all cultivation taking place at sea.The material the farmer chooses for each will not only depend on the site conditions, but also on the price and availability of equipment.

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Pond scattering-cultivation is probably the easiest method of seaweed cultivation and Gracilaria a very suitable species, due to its robust character.

In Indonesia, pond-scattering is the main cultivation method. Farming Gracilaria at sea has a lot of potential and is becoming more popular. For cultivation at sea, the floating/hanging long line method, which is also used for Eucheumatoid farming, is applied for Gracilaria. 


In China, cultivating at sea with floating rafts is the most common method. The setup is similar to Saccharina farms, since both seaweed types are farmed interchangeably in the North of China. Pond-scattering cultivation also exists in the South of the country (Fujian and Guangdong mainly), but at a much smaller scale than the sea-based cultivation in the North.

Hanging long-line cultivation

Floating raft cultivation

Investing in pond farming for Gracilaria is relatively low compared to open sea cultivation, since fewer materials are required. However, maintaining the inlet and outlet system of the culture ponds is important to circulate water and maintain water quality. The farmer needs to exchange water at least every three days during high tide.

In other parts of the world, where smaller quantities of Gracilaria are produced, other methods are common. Chile has its unique cultivation methods, since the native Gracilaria species Gracilaria chilensis can survive burial in sandy mud, thallus fragments can be pushed in the mud or held down with sand-filled polyethylene tubing. Harvesting is by hand, taking care not to remove the underground thalli. This method is confined to sheltered intertidal and shallow subtidal sandy areas. India is experimenting with tube-net and monoline methods in open sea (Mantri et al., 2020, Kavale et al., 2021 and Kavale et al., 2022).

Explore another seaweed species:
Eucheumatoids  |  SaccharinaUndaria  |  Pyropia |  Gracilaria

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