Warming oceans forced women in Zanzibar to switch from seaweed to climate-resilient sponge farming to stay afloat.
GS III: Agriculture
Sponge Farming: A Sustainable Business Venture
- Emerging as a new environmentally friendly business opportunity.
- Sponges are living animals with loosely arranged cells surrounding a fibrous skeleton.
- Specialized cells with whip-like tails act as microscopic pumps, drawing water into the sponge’s body.
- Sponges create a habitat for various animals, plants, and microorganisms, fostering mutual symbiotic relationships.
- Sea sponges inhabit oceans worldwide, constituting 20% of the global silicon biological sink.
- Unique pumping mechanism purifies ocean water by removing impurities, including sewage.
- Resilient to climate change, requiring minimal maintenance.
- Commands premium market prices compared to seaweed.
Reproduction and Regeneration
- Most sponges are hermaphrodites, facilitating self-propagation.
- New sponges emerge from small buds, ensuring independent growth.
- Damaged or fragmented sponges exhibit remarkable regenerative abilities.
- Used for bathing and hygiene due to natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, resisting odors.
- Plays a crucial role in combating climate change by contributing to the carbon cycle.
- Sponge skeletons break down into silicon particles, supporting diatom growth, which absorbs CO2 through photosynthesis.
-Source: Down to Earth