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"Seaweed" is the common name for countless species of marine plants and algae that grow in the ocean as well as in rivers, lakes, and other water bodies.
Seaweeds are used in many maritime countries as a source of food, for industrial applications and as a fertiliser. The major utilisation of these plants as food is in Asia, particularly Japan, Korea and China, where seaweed cultivation has become a major industry. The present uses of seaweeds are as human foods, cosmetics, fertilisers, and for the extraction of industrial gums and chemicals. They have the potential to be used as a source of long- and short-chain chemicals with medicinal and industrial uses.
Gracilaria is a genus of red algae notable for its economic importance as an agarophyte, as well as its use as a food for humans and various species of shellfish. Various species within the genus are cultivated among Asia, South America, Africa and Oceania. Gracilaria is used as a food in Japanese, Hawaiian, and Filipino cuisine. In Japanese cuisine, it is called ogonori or ogo. In thePhilippines, it is called gulaman and used to make gelatin. In Jamaica, it is known as Irish moss.