Guso | @natmuseumbohol via Photos by Crispy Miranda

Today’s Marine Monday, your  National Museum Bohol presents this nutritious food source from our marine ecosystem, the Seaweed (Eucheuma cottonii) locally called Guso.

Seaweeds are members of the marine algae family Protista. The Eucheuma cottonii belongs to the red algae (Rhodophyta) and grows in shallow reefs along rocky shorelines in tropical waters. Seaweeds are an important food source for jellyfishes, crustaceans, sea turtles, and more, including humans. They have complex body structures that are anchored to rocks and corals with their rootlike “holdfasts” and their branched filaments.

In Bohol, guso are farmed for commercial purposes and food consumption particularly in Hingotanan, Bien Unido, Bohol since 1973. From small-scale farming, the industry has had enormous growth through the years and has expanded to neighboring coastal towns like Getafe with much success as this added to the income of fishermen.

Depending on the location, the season for planting and harvesting seaweed varies, with some areas operating year-round, while others consider weather disturbances, diseases, water temperature, and salinity. Its culture period usually takes 30-45 days. Guso is exported to other countries as a source of Carrageenan, a gelatin-like extract used as a thickener, emulsifier, and stabilizer in food, beverages, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

Guso, as salad, can be eaten raw or slightly boiled and mixed in vinegar or the native suka-tuba plus other spices. This food is rich in iodine, calcium, vitamins, and minerals.

Let us continue to protect our seas from pollution and illegal fishing so that we can enjoy these food sources from nature.

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