Nation e-Edition

Seaweed threat

Seaweed threat The beach at Barclays Park on the East coast, a popular picnic area, is covered in seaweed. (L)

Tue, August 23, 2011 - 12:06 AM

MASSES OF SARGASSUM, a brown seaweed that has been washing up on Barbados’ shores within recent weeks, could pose a threat to the vital tourism industry and sea creatures such as turtles.

Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), Dr Leo Brewster, said yesterday there was a large quantity of the seaweed out in the ocean, and approaching islands of the eastern Caribbean, waiting to be dumped here in the coming months.

“There is a definite threat to tourism,” Brewster told a Press conference yesterday at the offices of the Disaster Emergency Management (DEM), Warrens, St Michael.

He said the algae could spell bad for the tourism product since this could prevent some tourists from wanting to go on some of the island’s beaches. (MM)


Full story in today’s DAILY NATION.


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Posted by Oyadele Assata 3 years, 2 months ago
What amazes me is that these officials always base their case on Tourism alone...should we assume that this will not impact on Bajans in any way? No economic fallout for Bajans? Or is the beach only for tourists?

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Posted by Tanya Forde 3 years, 2 months ago
Get some rakes and shovels and start cleaning up. Of course decide what is the best method of disposal. I am certain the highly paid big-up "health professionals" can come up with something; and fast!

When there is a problem, it is allowed to go on and on until it is out of hand before someone responsible comes up with an idea. Just look at the giant African snail!! Don't even talk about the criminals and guns!

Stop snoring and moving in slow motion! Get with the programme!

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Posted by Georges Augustin 3 years, 2 months ago
For too long,we have considered seaweed as a nuisance. Why not turn this attitude around, and treat it as God's bountiful gift. Has any studies been conducted to determine the feasibility of converting the weeds into herbal tea? I am sure the Chinese can show us how.

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Posted by Teresa Douglas 3 years, 2 months ago
Rake it up... take it to Mangrove landfill... its biodegradable...when more comes rake it up again, take it to Mangrove landfill again and so on and so on...
Another alternative is to use it to kill the African snail.. I am sure I heard with my own ears one persons account of how it has killed the snail after they feasted on it...

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Posted by Pan Wallie 3 years, 2 months ago
Maybe I can't read or comprehend well, but I thought when this weed surfaced around May/June, it was not considered a problem, except for staining the sand. So we dismissed it and couldn't be bothered with any further probe. Now that the problem has escalated, it concerns us that it would offend and perhaps run the tourists. Big headache for the BTA hopefuls, but not a care as to whether the locals get their feet stained.

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Posted by Peter Ramsay 3 years, 2 months ago
If the tourists don't go to the beach what is to become of the numerous vendors and surf shops across the island that heavily depend on the money they spend?
Face facts. We are a tourist dependent nation, and when tourist arrivals drop there is a ripple effect that touches every sector in Barbados. So it is only obvious, whether people like it or not, that the first person an official will think of is the tourists and the money to be lost if they cut their stays short, stay away from the beaches or don't come to the island at all.
People does get up in arms over some small issues and don't look at the big picture.

Another poster had the right idea though. Why don't we see this as a Godsend and create products from the seaweed? I am sure there must be different uses for it.

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Posted by Michael Goddard 3 years, 2 months ago
Much ado about nothing. Its 100% natural and biodegradable. It will help hold beaches together and prevent erosion! For the more used beaches (used by both locals and visitors) take some off and use as fertilizer (preferable around the beach plants) and nearby. It is very high in nitrogen, potassium and magnesium. No need to haul it all the way to mangrove!

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Posted by Pan Wallie 3 years, 2 months ago
Your point on the benefits of tourism is well taken. Constant remarks by people who should know better which intimates you are second class or unimportant is also a point not to be dismissed. Look at the effect of these dismissed small social issues in terms of foreign land purchases and all violence (when we denied drug penetration and later the formation of gangs).

I do agee with you and the poster that we should explore any possible benefits of the seaweed.

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Posted by Lien Chiow Tan 3 years, 2 months ago
Lucky people! This seaweed is energy God sends to you. It is not a waste to be dumped in the landfill.

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Posted by Leroy Lovell 3 years, 2 months ago
Its crazy that only in Barbados would Seaweed washing ashore would be consider a "threat". I have paid hundreds of dollars for seaweed to use in my gardens here in Canada, why would the government or some entrepreneur not take this opportunity to make some money off of this.

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Posted by V C 3 years ago
I really hate to say it but this is a typical Bajan reaction. So often missing the opportunity even when it is shouting at us. This is probably a gift! If this is THE brown seaweed I'm thinking it is.... This stuff could be worth a fortune as a health supplement, for fat-loss, anti-aging, diabetes control, intestinal health, etc. etc. etc.
Mix with the other boat Bajans missed ( Aloe Vera 'Barbadensis' ) and maybe you have a new industry.

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Posted by Oyadele Assata 3 years ago
I hate to say it also, but another typical Bajan reaction is to be comfortable with any apolitical viewpoint offered by leaders...oh yes, and to privilege tourists over locals.

No-one is negating the potential power of using the seaweed for industry - I certainly did not address that in my comment...but if the Minister is perceiving this primarily as an issue affecting tourists, then conceptually, putting in place a solution that benefits Bajans first will not register on his 'to-do' list.

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