Farming Under the Sea for Japan’s Rare Delicacy

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Seventy miles off the coast of mainland Japan is the small island of Okinawa, home to some of the most unique seaweed in the world. Mozuku is a rare underwater delicacy found off the mainland coast.

source/image: Great Big Story

Each fall, farmer Tadashi Oshiro uses a special technique to sustainably harvest the seaweed. His one-of-a-kind farming methods were passed down to him by his father, using a process that allows the mozuku to grow without creating additional waste.

And although changes in the environment leave the future of mozuku uncertain, Tadashi continues to uphold his family’s legacy.Mozuku has important health properties, because it is a natural source of fucoidan.

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High levels of this unusual molecule are found in mozuku, and it has unique tumour-suppressant and anti-coagulant properties.Ensuring consistent production levels of mozuku would allow widespread consumption of this healthy seaweed, which is already present in food supplements and has shown anti-cancer characteristics during laboratory tests.

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