Barbados seeking to get on top of seaweed problem

barbados beach covered in sargassum seaweedThe Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) is seeking solutions to the problem of sargassum seaweed to tourism on the island, which is spreading across many of its beaches and affecting visitors and locals alike. “Our hotels on the south and east coasts are doing all they can to battle this issue by way of beach cleanups, where they rent equipment and employ additional workers in that area,” said BHTA Chief Executive Officer Sue Springer. “Some have also found uses for the seaweed in their gardens, nurseries and golf courses and one property is looking into the possibility of using a boom to prevent it from reaching the shore.”

In Brief
  • The sargassum seaweed arrived on the beaches of Barbados and other Caribbean islands in 2011, and recently the volume of algae has increased dramatically.
  • Bajan fishermen say the sargassum has led to diminished catches and a recent drop in earnings, despite also acting as floating habitats for various marine creatures.
  • The seaweed can provides habitat for sea creatures as well as forage for birds and other beach animals. It also helps control soil erosion and can be used as a fertiliser by farmers, plant nurseries and horticulturalists.
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Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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