Sun, Sea And Sargassum

A fishing boat navigating sargassum-inundated waters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Photo via CRFM)
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(Jamaica Gleaner) Against the background of recent concerns raised by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett about the impending invasion of sargassum being a threat to the tourism industry, marine scientist Dr. Karl Aiken has a suggestion.

“Because of its effects on tourism, it is possible that the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the tax they impose on tourism visitors can be used to do some of the studies to manage sargassum in Jamaica and the greater Caribbean, which will be for the greater good of the Caribbean, because sargassum is a problem to us every couple of years. Some years are bad, some years are good, but it is very unpredictable,” Aiken told The Sunday Gleaner.

Recent satellite images show a floating mass of the seaweed stretching from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico, which is now reported to be the biggest seaweed bloom in the world.

According to scientists, the algal explosion in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea could signify a new normal. Deforestation and fertiliser use are among the factors thought to be driving the growth.

The brown seaweed has inundated beaches, causing an environmental nuisance.

Read more at: Jamaica Gleaner

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