One of Zanzibar's biggest foreign-exchange earners is seaweed (mwani), of which over ten thousand tons are exported annually to East Asia. The seaweed cultivation was introduced two decades ago as an income-generating project for local women. The seaweed is "planted" by tying it to ropes in the shallow intertidal zone of the lagoons. It is not an easy job, as the sacks of wet seaweed weight tens of kilos which have to be moved a few hundred meters before the seaweed is laid out on the sand to dry, while looking careful for the sea urchins and sharp pieces of coral at the bottom.

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