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Marine users urged to be cautious due to projected increase of Sargassum Seaweed in July

by: - June 29, 2022
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The Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security Fisheries Division wishes to inform fisherfolks and users of the marine space that there will be a projected extreme increase in the accumulation of Sargassum Seaweed for the month of July 2022.

Sargassum is a brown seaweed that floats in the ocean and provides an important habitat for migratory organisms that have adapted specifically to these floating algae including crab, shrimp, sea turtles, and commercially important fish species such as tuna and marlin.

Sargassum is carried by ocean currents.

The large sargassum blooms that have been observed recently are thought to have been caused by nutrient-rich and warm-water regions of the Atlantic Ocean which are not to be confused with and not directly connected to the Sargasso Sea, which is also an area known for large rafts of Sargassum.

Sargassum will rot when washed on the shore resulting in the creation of rotten-egg-smelling hydrogen sulfide gas. The eyes, nose, and throat might get irritated by hydrogen sulfide. You will be more vulnerable to hydrogen sulfide if you suffer from asthma or other breathing conditions.

According to reports from the Sargassum Subregional-outlook bulletin (UWI CERMES) there will be moderate to severe sargassum influxes in the Eastern Caribbean islands.

It is expected that in the upcoming weeks, there will likely be an increase in the influx of sargassum.

Fishers should exercise caution while traveling through large mats of sargassum to reduce the possibility of stalling.