The Government is using a holistic approach to address the algae invasion along the island’s coasts.
Four ministries – Agriculture and Food Security; Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy; Transport, Works and Maintenance; and Environment and National Beautification – are working in collaboration to remove piles of sargassum seaweed and put the algae to good use.
This was the position taken after the relevant the ministers toured Bath Beach, St John, and Crane Beach, St Philip, to assess the impact of the sargassum seaweed yesterday.
During the visit to Bath beach, St John, Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey said though the seaweed was regarded as a nuisance, it was a resource.
“We believe that we could move it safely where we would drain it and take it to Sustainable Barbados Recycle Centre, where it could be used as well.
“We are also in conversation with the private sector to use used the seaweed to create energy . . . to create in the long term a methane gas . . . we know you can convert it into real energy and use it to help fuel Barbadian households,” he said.
Humphrey, who said, “it [the influx] is being treated as a national emergency in a way”, gave the assurance that the expertise of marine biologists was also being drawn upon, to make sure there were no eco-calamities.
One hundred members of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) are also pitching in to help remove the seaweed at Skeete’s Bay and Foul Bay, both in St Philip, and Barclays Park beach, St Andrew; Silver Sands and Long beach in Christ Church and River Bay, St Lucy.
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Indar Weir said the seaweed could also be used as a natural fertilizer and for compost.
BDF chief of staff Colonel Glyne Grannum said St Ann Fort was being used as a coordination centre where non-governmental organisations, Government and civil society could gather information to support the cause.
Workers at the Crane beach hotel and members of the BDF were busy cleaning Crane Beach yesterday. (SB)