Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 3 of 3 1 2 3
Re: The Journey of the Sargassum [Re: Marty] #531958
08/24/18 04:36 AM
08/24/18 04:36 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
It's a HUGE problem in ALL the Caribbean. While other countries seem to have it worse that here in Belize, it just got a bit more serious this week on Ambergris Caye. Here are pics shared by island residents Ilda Guerrero, Simon Backley and Araceli Blease on their Facebook profiles. WOW! Sargasso entering the Boca del Rio and moved all the way to the back lagoon as far as the New Sunset Boardwalk and Terminal.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Ambergris Today FB

Re: The Journey of the Sargassum [Re: Marty] #531988
08/26/18 06:17 AM
08/26/18 06:17 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Sargassum continues to plague the Caribbean, including Belize; tourism industry affected

The Sargassum seaweed crisis continues to affect the coasts of many countries within the Caribbean Sea, southern Mexico, and the Central American region. Belize continues to struggle with its share, and efforts on Ambergris Caye to contain the non-stop influx have resulted in the removal of approximately 1,764 tons of Sargassum from the beginning of February to August of this year. The works by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), covers an area of approximately one mile, beginning from the public library, across the Roman Catholic Primary School, and north to the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge by Boca del Rio.

Local authorities have concentrated on removing the daily accumulation of Sargasso within the town core area, particularly on the Boca del Rio beach. SPTC personnel in charge of the clean-up stated that the community, particularly the business sector, has been helping to clean up other parts of the island, particularly in front of their establishments. However, all efforts to keep the island free of the seaweed seems to be fruitless. According to the maintenance department of the SPTC, they remove truckloads of Sargassum on a daily basis, but by the next day, the downtown beach area is full of seaweed again. Many businesses along the coast continue to be affected by Sargassum, which rots shortly after reaching the shores, expelling a strong sulfuric-odor from the decaying biomass. Several beach restaurants and bars say that their clientele has decreased due to the bad smell. “People seldom come to the beach, and if they do come, they do not stay long because of the bad situation with the Sargassum. We try to clean as much as we can, but the fight is hard against this seaweed,” said one concerned business owner. The issue has impacted not only the tourism business but also the marine life near the coastline. The thick Sargassum mats have on three different occasions this year, caused the death of hundreds of fish along the eastern coast of the island. According to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the seaweed consumes all the oxygen out of the surrounding water causing fish and other marine creatures in the immediate area to die.

In Mexico, from Cancun to Chetumal Quintana Roo, hundreds of thousands of metric meters have been cleaned with little success. Due to this massive influx that continues to threaten their tourism industry like in Belize, the Mexican authorities have come up with a plan to stop the Sargassum from reaching their shores. They have started a project consisting of Sargassum barriers to be placed from Cancun to Chetumal, resistant to waves and supported with seabed anchoring. It is expected that the barriers will redirect the collected Sargassum away from the beaches. According to the manufacturer, the barriers are a technique for the control of natural and artificial marine contingencies and are composed of a floating system and polyvinyl coated canvas with additives for ultraviolet ray resistance.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


Re: The Journey of the Sargassum [Re: Marty] #532068
08/30/18 04:54 AM
08/30/18 04:54 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Island resorts test alternatives to tackling the Sargassum epidemic

The business community on Ambergris Caye, particularly those by the beach, is being inundated day after day with large swaths of Sargassum that choke the shores of the island. Several businesses have hired additional staff to keep their areas clean with little success. The unusual bloom of seaweed has thus forced businesses to explore other alternatives to tackle the problem. Some beach resorts have constructed test barriers made of PVC pipes to prevent the floating seaweed from reaching their beaches.

Ramon’s Village has been experimenting for the past four weeks, with positive results. Manager Einer Gomez says the barriers seem to be working as expected, and their beach looks much cleaner compared to a few weeks ago. According to him, the barriers in front of the resort’s beach consists of four-inch PVC pipes, capped off to create buoyancy and a fiberglass mesh wrapped around the pipes. The mesh falls about 18 inches into the water and does not hit the seabed. Gomez explained that the barriers are held in place by 6’ X 6’ posts in the seabed.

This method is similar to what is being done at other resorts on the island, such as Grand Caribe, and Ramon’s customized the set-up to fit what works for them. “There is no real solution to the Sargassum situation, and ours is at an experimental stage,” said Gomez. “However, I believe that there has to be a communal effort for the problem to be alleviated.” Even though the barriers are doing a good job so far, wind, currents and the change in tides do affect the drift of the Sargassum, and some still manage to make it across the PVC pipes. However, those observations are being taken into consideration when making improvements.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


Re: The Journey of the Sargassum [Re: Marty] #532102
08/31/18 02:11 PM
08/31/18 02:11 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Sargassum hits Placencia

The beautiful beach of Placencia in Belize (Caribbean Sea) got hit by a catastrophic amount of seaweed. It’s not the usual one that is common and floating in every few years, it’s a toxic one that kills sea turtles and fish because of the lack of oxygen. It’s caused by the rising sea temperatures, fertilizers and oil drilling incidents. Belize is trying hard to protect our environment, including the ban of plastic like straws and bags and banned all oil drilling - and even surveys - in the ocean. But as long as rich countries don’t care about our planet, small and challenged countries like Belize suffer from the global ignorance.

OCEANA


Re: The Journey of the Sargassum [Re: Marty] #532117
09/02/18 05:47 AM
09/02/18 05:47 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Is Sargassum hazardous to our health?

The San Pedro Sun spoke to Eric Najarro, Administrator at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II about the possibility of increased illnesses due to the Sargassum. Although Najarro stated that there is no conclusive evidence that island residents are displaying symptoms of toxicity, he cautioned that inhaling small doses of the gas can trigger irritation of the eyes, respiratory issues and nausea, especially among at-risk people. The groups at risk are asthma patients, elderly people, babies and pregnant women. Certain animals, especially dogs, are also sensitive to the inhalation of hydrogen sulfide. He further cautions to avoid swimming in Sargassum infested waters as it can lead to skin irritation.

One island resident shared that every time she’s near the beach, she starts coughing and feeling bad. “My eyes get irritated and I even get a slight headache,” she said. In addition to hydrogen sulfide causing health issues to human and animals, the poisonous gas in the air also leads to oxidation of copper, steel and other metals.

The common effects of inhaling low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (10 ppm or less) are burning eyes, coughing and shortness of breath. Repeated or prolonged exposure at low concentration levels can cause eye inflammation, headaches, fatigue, irritability and insomnia. Exposure to moderate concentration levels of hydrogen sulfide can result in severe eye irritation, severe respiratory irritation (coughing, difficulty breathing, and fluid in lungs), headache, and nausea, vomiting, and imbalance. Effects of exposure to high levels (100 ppm or higher) of hydrogen sulfide can be serious and life-threatening with effects that include shock, convulsions, inability to breathe, rapid unconsciousness, coma, and even death.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun




How sargassum is tainting the waters close to shore on Ambergris Caye. It's accumulation has caused some dead zones as dead juvenile fish continue to be spotted along the beaches. Hoping we don't start seeing larger marine animals dying like in Florida. Already the smell of Hydrogen sulfide is a nuisance for residents. Sargassum's negative effects are widespread. We know other countries in the Caribbean have it worse. Counting our Blessings; working on possible solutions...


Huge Amounts of Sargassum Invade San Pedro’s Beaches

For the past months, Caribbean and Latin America countries have been feeling the negative effects of massive amounts of Sargassum which have washed up along the coastlines. Tons of Sargassum have covered Belize’s beaches including those in San Pedro and in Placencia. The decaying Sargassum not only releases a foul odor, but also a hydrogen sulfide gas which is known to cause harm to humans and animals when inhaled in large amounts.  The Sargassum phenomenon is causing detrimental damage to the tourism industries in the region and threatens the economies. In Belize, the Sargassum Task Force, which was formed in 2015, has been reactivated to address the issue, but before they do so, they need to understand its impact.   News Five’s Hipolito Novelo takes a closer look at the impacts of the Sargassum invasion.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism

 “It is a great concern. I think it is an emergency at this point.”

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

From a bird’s eye view, large mats of Sargassum can be seen being carried by the Caribbean Current en route to the coastlines of many Caribbean and Latin American Countries like Belize. The Sargassum phenomenon has been affecting the region since 2011 but recently these massive blooms of the brown microalgae have slowly crept up on pristine beaches. Tons of the seaweed have invaded the beaches of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The unpleasant smell many describe as a ‘rotting egg smell’ and the sight of the decaying Sargassum have caused many businesses along the beach to lose customers. For Blue Marlin’s, the Sargassum is causing a detrimental economic effect on its ability to attract paying patrons.

Kevin Locario, Employee, Blue Marlin’s

“The tourist actually really complain about it because if you notice we have the verandah right there and what happens is that they sit there and they cannot enjoy the ambiance because it has a bad smell. They do not really enjoy being here and having a nice drink or having nice food or something. A lot of us have lost business because it is a small town and a lot of us are friends who own business and a lot of us have the same complaints.”

Blue Marlin’s employee Kevin Locario’s task to convince customers to stay becomes nearly impossible with the lingering stench of the dead Sargassum. English Tourist Donald Bishop says the incredible amounts of Sargassum have made his vacation experience different.

Donald Bishop, Tourist

 “It’s getting worse this time. It’s the worst I have known it.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“What’s the situation in Caye Caulker?”

Donald Bishop

“The situation in Caye Caulker is exactly the same. There is probably more there. They are trying to clean it up but it is too much.”

 

Lindsey Hackston has been operating Belizean Art, a jewelry and gift shop situated on the beach, for thirty years. Since the beginning of the year, Hackston has been burning incense to fight off the stench of the sargassum.  It has not worked and recently, Hackston realized that the toxin released in the air by the decaying Sargassum is wreaking havoc on her pieces of jewelry.

Lindsey Hackston, Owner, Belizean Art

 “The gold plated and the silver plated it actually corrodes and some of the jewelry we had to throw out. So our jewelry display has been really badly affected and our sales. A lot of it we have just stuffed in draws. We don’t even want to bring it out. You can see over there-over cabinet turned black. Even the beadwork from the indigenous Maya, some of that has turned black as well. It is terrible. I don’t know what is going to happen.”

 

Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Junior says Belize’s tourism industry accounts for thirty-eight point eight percent of the Gross Domestic Product. The Sargassum is causing significant losses to the tourism industries across the region. In some Caribbean countries, major hotels have had to close down due to the massive amounts of Sargassum that have washed up along the beaches, transforming crystal clear waters into an unattractive, smelly and brown shade.

In 2015, A Sargassum Task Force was created to address the problem. That task force is responsible for creating a national plan and looking at regional initiatives to adapt in order to successfully implement best practices as a way to lessen the negative effects. The task force recently met to address the Sargassum problem with regional assistance.

Manuel Heredia Jr.

 “Twenty percent of that amount we got in Belize but eighty percent is in the Western Caribbean and Mexico also. That is the reason why we have to work together not only locally. I believe when we meet at the SICA level, ministers of tourism, we will have to try to see how to address this issue together with our neighbors. It is not a matter just locally but regionally to try to see what can be done. I can recall in my fishing days we did use to have the Sargassum but it was for a short time, probably three months and it was over. This year has been the worse of the worse in the history of my fishing days until now.”

As the amount of Sargassum keeps piling up on the beach, the negative effects it has on the tourism sector in San Pedro Town is mounting. In the meantime, the San Pedro Town Council has workers cleaning up the beach but this temporary and sluggish solution to the Sargassum invasion is not enough. Workers like Abdonazzer Habeb Hajjara spend about eight hours a day trying to clean up as much of the beach using pitchforks and wheelbarrows.

Abdonazzer Habeb Hajjara, Worker, San Pedro Town Council

We take it out and put it in wheel borrow and we put it into piles then we have a tractor put it in a dump truck. They take it to fill lots, properties and thing.”

Hipolito Novelo

“Is it difficult?”

Abdonazzer Habeb Hajjara

“It is not difficult but it is heavy because of the water only that when it starts to spoil it starts to think.”

Hipolito Novelo

“It stinks really badly. How do you handle it?”

Abdonazzer Habeb Hajjara

“We are already used to it.” 

Besides being foul, decaying Sargassum is toxic to humans and animals. It releases hydrogen sulfide gas and depending on the quantity inhaled, the poisonous and colorless gas can cause nausea and respiratory difficulties especially in at-risk individuals such as those who suffer from asthma. Several factors are combining to create the perfect conditions for these massive Sargasssum blooms. Large mats of Sargassum for some marine life but for others, it’s fatal. Recent fish kills in San Pedro have been attributed to the Sargassum which is known to destroy habitats for fishes, sea turtles, and birds. The Sargassum also hampers the ability of fishermen to find food. It is capable of destroying boat propellers, engines, and fishing equipment. So where is it all coming from? And what is causing it?

Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator

It is a phenomenon that is occurring because of many factors; global warming, upwelling. It is actually coming all the way from the Brazilian shelf.”

Janelle Chanona, Vice President, OCEANA Belize

You have scientist finding out that the types of dispersants specifically one called Corexit that was used in the BP oil spill to have helped create a very nutrient-rich environment. You have climate change, global warming, and higher sea temperatures globally causing the sea to be warmer and therefore more conducive to these massive blooms. It’s a natural ecosystem so it is floating in seas around this part of the world. What’s happening is that because the water, the temperature, everything else is making it bloom it’s kind of coming from everywhere at the same time which is why it is getting to crisis level in many countries.” 

Many countries are looking for alternative use of the dead Sargassum. San Pedro residents are using it for landfill.

Beverly Wade

One of the things that they are looking at directly right now is landfill, composting. Some people in the region are looking to see if there are other uses for it in terms of feeds, animal feeds and things like that. But one of the biggest things that people are doing right is just using it as landfill.

San Pedro is not the only part of the country that is being affected. In Placencia the villagers have come together to address the issue. The Sargassum is causing further beach erosion in Hopkins Village and Belize City is seeing its first wave of the Sargassum assault. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo. 

Channel 5


Placencia Villagers Battle Sargassum Invasion

Tonight we have part two of our report on Sargassum.  Aside from San Pedro, residents of the Placencia Peninsula are battling with the awful stench of decaying Sargassum that has piled up along the beaches.  Massive amounts of the Sargassum seaweed are covering miles of beach, posing a threat to the local tourism industry and the survival of many businesses that depend on the tourist dollar.  In the peninsula, beaches are eroding and the Sargassum has prompted villagers to come together to address the problem. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.  

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

One of the top tourist destinations in Belize, the Placencia Peninsula sees tens of thousands of visitors every year. This year there is a threat to the local tourism industry and the livelihoods of hundreds of families who depend on tourist dollars. The threat comes in the form of a brown, foul and invasive macroalgae- Sargassum. Tons of it have washed up along the peninsula. It’s an eyesore. The decaying Sargassum reeks and it can cause health complications among humans and animals.

Jodie Yearwood Leslie, Treasurer, Placencia Village Council

“The dead Sargassum serves no purpose other than really just becoming a horrific problem for the village. The stench is horrible. It becomes toxic because the dead Sargassum puts off a gas called hydrosulfide which eventually is very dangerous because if you have anything that is made of metal, silver it turns it black in a matter of minutes. So if it is doing that then you can imagine what it is doing to our insides but our volunteers are sacrificing everything because we want our village cleaned up.”

The Sargassum is affecting the entire region. Several factors have created the perfect environment for a massive Sargassum bloom. Placencia villagers banded together earlier this month to collectively address the problem by digging a trench along the beach and dumping the dead Sargassum in as landfill.

Jodie Yearwood Leslie

They are basically pulling in the seagrass with pitchforks and buckets and shovels. They are putting it on the trench. We are then covering it back over with the sand to try to use as a landfill. We are to help the erosion by doing so. The brown Sargassum that you are seeing there as we are raking it in, there is a lot of controversies saying that you are going to disturb this; you are going to disturb that. The right of the matter is that there is nothing to be disturbed. Once the Sargassum turns that brown and is that close into shore everything in it is dead.”

As for the live Sargassum, boats and nets are being used to haul and steer it away from the peninsula.

Glen Eiley, Concern Resident, Placencia Village

We are taking old shrimp nets and we are putting on some buoys on the top and some legs on the bottom and then try to pull it beyond that island. When that happens we have a wide open area that is just going to go and end up in the gulf somewhere. We are in a pretty good geographic layout that once we move it from out shore it will then drift away.”

Massive amounts of the Sargassum are still present. The dead Sargassum is so dense that people can walk on top of it. It’s about five feet deep and causing major beach erosion.

Glen Eiley

“What is happening, the water is not breaking. It’s not lapping our shores so it does not build the sand. It comes from the underside and undermines the beach. So whenever we have a Sargassum bloom like this and piles up on our beach, we have major erosion. I am not an engineer by any trait but I was born and raised here and I have seen Sargassum all my life but never ever in my life, I would have imagined that this is what we have to contend with.”

Laurene Holcomb owns the White Horse Guest House in Hopkins Village and like many of the tourist-oriented businesses; Holcomb has been losing income due to the Sargassum invasion.

Laurene Holcomb, Owner, The White Horse Guest House 

“It is awful. The guests that come to stay with you, it was clear the other day. You can’t even tell them when it will be bad and of course, it hurts their vacation. It is a sad thing.”

Hipolito Novelo

“Do you lose business?”

Laurene Holcomb

“Yes, of course.”

Glen Eiley

“We have to come up with a long-term strategy, the entire Caribbean, the entire country. So everybody is calling on the government right now. We know that they do not have the resource to throw at everybody but if someone would come in and give us the assurances that we will stand behind you.”

Jodie Yearwood Leslie

“I have had several people leave on the boat going to Honduras. They looked at us at the BTIA office and told us that we can’t stay here. Your beaches are not good. We understand that it is not your fault but we want to go somewhere where we can swim and that is not happening here. So if we lose our tourism or the delay of our tourism right now because of this means we are losing income. If we lose income and we lose our tourist, the government, therefore, loses a good share of their income.”

Government Minister responsible for tourism, Manuel Heredia Junior recently visited the peninsula. He says that the issue will be addressed on a regional level but in the meantime, a net will be deployed at sea to stop the Sargassum from reaching the shore.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism

“It is a great concern. I think it is an emergency at this point. They will be putting a curtain along the stretch of the area that is being affected. It is a little expensive but together I think we can accomplish that. Or there are other ways that are looking at the alternative use of the material.”

OCEANA Vice President, Janelle Chanona says that the Sargassum has many alternative uses including in the culinary arts.

Janelle Chanona, Vice President, OCEANA Belize

“Earlier this year we saw restaurants in the Placencia community, they were putting it into food. It is a natural biological entity. They were using it in sauces and I think they were using it in breakfast dish and they use it as a sauce for dinner. Apparently, it is delicious. We have seen people using it as fertilizer. We have seen it dried out and created into protein powder to add to your shakes and different things.”

The influx of Sargassum came with an amount of garbage; plastic and styrofoam cups and plates are among the trash.

Janelle Chanona

“We need to be looking at what we are putting into the ocean because what we are putting out into the natural environment, air and sea, is causing what we are seeing. Climate change is contributing towards this, the fact that so much pollution is getting into waterways and eventually into the sea. Even here at home, we are putting things directly into the sea that in no way should be there, grey water, effluence, sewage, and everything is going into the sea. Every action has a reaction and this is nature’s reaction to say well,’ you have to deal with this now’”.

Formed in 2015, the Sargassum Task Force met recently to create a strategic plan to deal with the problem. Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Channel 5


From a friend in San Pedro

Microplastics are in the sargassum. It is filled with plastic that breaks down during composting into smaller microplastic pieces. It is so pervasive that it's impossible to pick out. I have composted a LOT of sargasso, not again. I have microplastics all over the garden. I would never feed this sargasso to live stock either.



Re: The Journey of the Sargassum [Re: Marty] #534554
01/28/19 05:42 AM
01/28/19 05:42 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

After record Sargassum influx, CRFM initiates fact-finding study in CARICOM States with support from Japan

The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has initiated a regional fact-finding study to document the record-breaking influx of Sargassum seaweed in the Caribbean Sea in 2018, and the impacts this phenomenon has been having on countries in the region since 2011.

The fact-finding survey is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), that has coordinated official development assistance from Japan to CARICOM States for over two decades.

Over the past 7 years, massive Sargassum influxes have been having adverse effects on national and regional economies in the Caribbean, with substantial loss of livelihoods and economic opportunities, primarily in the fisheries and tourism sectors. Large Sargassum influxes had been experienced in this region in 2011, 2014 and 2015, but it reached unprecedented levels in 2018, with more Sargassum affecting the Caribbean for a longer period of time than had previously been observed.

It is estimated that clean-up could cost the Caribbean at least $120 million in 2018. The CRFM Ministerial Council adopted the “Protocol for the Management of Extreme Accumulations of Sargassum on the Coasts of CRFM Member States” in 2016. The protocol has been guiding the drafting of national Sargassum management protocols for Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with support from the CC4FISH project, an initiative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

In the coming weeks, the CRFM Secretariat will lead extensive consultations with key national stakeholders in the public and private sector, including interests in fisheries, tourism, and environment, as well as with coastal communities and other related sectors. Remote surveys and field missions in select Member States will provide a broad knowledge-base on exactly how the phenomenon has been affecting the countries.

Through the project, the CRFM will identify heavily affected areas, the time and frequency of extreme blossoms and accumulation of Sargassum, the quantity of accumulation, and elements associated with it, such as the species of fish and types of debris. A review of the history and scope of the impacts (both positive and negative) will be conducted and the extent of financial losses quantified. The CRFM will also identify research and countermeasures taken by the national governments, regional organizations, research institutions, and other development partners and donors. Finally, the study will suggest actions and scope of support that Japan may provide to help the countries address the problem.

During the study, the CRFM will engage other regional institutions such as Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC), the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies at the University of the West Indies (CERMES-UWI), the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, (CIMH), the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI), and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission. The CRFM will also engage development partners which have been doing Sargassum-related work in the region, including the FAO, UN Environment Regional Coordinating Unit, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and IOCARIBE, the Sub-Commission for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), an agency of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

According to the CRFM, Sargassum influxes disrupt fishing operations through gear entanglement and damage; impeding fishing and other vessels at sea; reducing catches of key fisheries species, such as flyingfish and adult dolphinfish; changing the availability and distribution of coastal and pelagic fisheries resources; and disrupting coastal fishing communities and tourism activities.

However, this challenge has also inspired innovative interventions, and opportunities for revenue-generation include value-addition through the production of fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, animal feed, and biofuel. The CRFM notes, though, that the financial or other benefits remain to be quantified.

The Sargassum phenomenon is believed to be driven by several factors, including climate change and increased sea surface temperature; change in regional winds and ocean current patterns; increased supply of Saharan dust; and nutrients from rivers, sewage and nitrogen-based fertilizers.


Re: The Journey of the Sargassum [Re: Marty] #535758
04/07/19 05:06 AM
04/07/19 05:06 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
Sanitation personnel at SPTC notes a decrease in Sargassum influx

After weeks of constant accumulation of Sargassum on the eastern beaches of San Pedro Town, the Sanitation Department at The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is reporting a decrease in the influx of this seasonal seaweed on the island. Over the past weeks, large areas of the Boca del Rio strip were inundated with large amounts of Sargassum affecting many business establishments along the coastline. Beach hotels have also been affected. However, they have opted to set barriers in front of their beaches in an attempt to keep their areas free of the seaweed.

The sanitation personnel at the SPTC stated that the situation has been very challenging over the past three weeks. They are glad to report that as of Monday, April 1st, they noticed a significant decrease in the presence of the brown seaweed. They told The San Pedro Sun that it a similar situation last year that affected the Easter Holidays. “Most people ended up heading to Secret Beach because our front beaches were saturated with Sargassum,” one of the sanitation employees said. “We hope that this decrease continues through the Easter Holidays this year, and we can enjoy the front beaches.”

A couple of resorts on the island have invested in floating barriers in front of their beach areas to contain the seaweed. According to them, it is working so far and hopes that one day a permanent solution can be discovered to end the unwanted seaweed. Presently on Ambergris Caye, Sargassum is being used as landfill. However, this method is not encouraged as medical experts in the past have warned of the health hazards the stench of this marine plant can cause as it decays. In a previous interview with The San Pedro Sun Dr. Javier Zuniga, who then worked at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, decaying Sargasso produces hydrogen sulfide and bacteria that can result in mild skin rash or irritation. He added that it can also cause the eyes to be irritated, and those who are sensitive are most at risk, including babies, the elderly, and those with breathing complications.

In the meantime, the natural phenomenon, which affects the entire Caribbean has been attributed to the overabundance of high nutrient levels in the ocean and the increased temperature of the water. This has been traced to the inappropriate disposal of industrial waste and agricultural runoff by developed countries, which causes the seaweed to thrive. The Sargassum that continues to plague Belize is believed to originate from South America, where nutrient-rich run-off from industries and agricultural fertilizers into the sea is taking place due to heavy deforestation. All this flow of nutrients into the sea makes it ideal for the rapid amassing of Sargassum. As the mats grow larger, currents take the seaweed to the Caribbean region, where the warm waters add to an even better environment for its survival and growth. This constant increase in its bloom has been recorded since 2014.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

Re: The Journey of the Sargassum [Re: Marty] #536132
05/02/19 01:45 PM
05/02/19 01:45 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
Sargassum is back in the region

A huge tide of sargassum has once again invaded shores of the Caribbean, including some of Mexico’s most popular beaches.

But despite the magnitude of the problem, the federal government has not allocated the funding that has been requested to deal with it.

According to the Cancún sargassum monitoring network, 30 countries, territories and protectorates are forecast to receive massive amounts of sargassum, including Mexico, the United States, Cuba, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, Colombia, Panama, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Bahamas among others.

So far in Mexico, the beaches of the Riviera Maya in Quintana Roo have been the hardest hit, including Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel, Puerto Morelos the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Othón P. Blanco and Bacalar.

Cancún Mayor Mara Lezama said the sargassum problem was especially serious because of how quickly the macroalgae often accumulates on beaches within just a matter of hours.

Sargassum conditions as of Tuesday morning, from low to moderate, abundant and excessive and indicated in green, yellow, orange and red.

[Linked Image]

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Mexico News Daily

=================

[Linked Image]

Sargassum Flow Expected Worse Than Last Year

According to the monthly reports of the Optical Oceanography Laboratory of the School of Marine Sciences of the University of South Florida, intended to provide an overview of the current flowering condition and the probability of future flowering of sargassum for the Caribbean Sea, the conditions for this 2019, are greater than those of last year for the uptake of these marine algae.

The Sargasso Surveillance System based on the satellite of the University of South Florida warns that 2019, will be on a larger scale, which has alerted authorities at the Caribbean countries, including Mexico.

In the report for the month of January the extension of flowering in 2019 is still significantly greater than in most of the years from 2011 to 2018 for the Caribbean and the Central West Atlantic. For this reason, they point out that this 2019 is likely to be another important flowering year and for which, the corresponding measures must be taken to address said overflow.

More in the Ambergris Today

Re: The Journey of the Sargassum [Re: Marty] #536336
05/15/19 06:32 AM
05/15/19 06:32 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Short video which explains the Sargassum problem. Check it out and learn a bit. Sargassum explained by George Buckley, Harvard University Extinction School. Here are the cause of Sargassum bloom and what we need to do.


Re: The Journey of the Sargassum [Re: Marty] #536349
05/16/19 06:10 AM
05/16/19 06:10 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 62,008
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

The Sargassum Situation

We have featured stories on the sargassum plague countless times on this newscast. In the beginning of this year, we told you about CRFM's fact finding study to find out how and why it is affecting the Caribbean. Well, while that study is being conducted, residents on the ground in Belize especially on the islands and coastal communities have to deal with the unsightly heaps and unbearable stench of the sargassum as it accumulates and decays on the beach.

As you can imagine, it's having a direct effect on the tourism product and properties. We spoke to the Reservations Manager at The Palms Ocean Front Property on San Pedro and she told us that it is getting harder to control and it is jeopardizing their business.

Ana Ico, The Palms Ocean Front Property Reservations Manager
"Well San Pedro has a real serious problem with Sargassum because first we used to have enough sargassum and people used to use it for landfill but now the amounts are really a lot that now we don't even have the human resource to come and get it off the beach as quickly as we would like it to be off and not only that when it starts to decompose or rotten, then you have that smell and of course people are allergic to it and they start coughing and that stuff, all our metals start getting black and so it is affecting us a lot especially on our beaches because they are starting to erode. I don't know if you walk the beaches it is starting to erode a lot and I have never seen our beaches in front of the Palm's as bad as they are now."

"The tourists want to come here to enjoy the beaches and if you go there right now you can't enjoy the beaches because it is piled up and what they do is go on the west side of the island and try to go to spots that are there instead of staying where they are and paying that amount of money to get that view and the beach so you know it is affecting us both ways."

"What I know is BTB had asked us to take a percentage of the tax that is what we use to pay the people to rake the beach and take away the sargassum, however mother nature seems to be real mad at us so it is more than we can actually handle with what we have right now."

Ico says the sargassum is worse on the north side of the island.

Ministers Seeking The Sargassum Solution

Area representative for Belize Rural South, Manuel Juniour Heredia has to deal with this issue on the ground and at the policy level. He says it's only going to get worse on the ground, and that's why regional tourism ministers are meeting urgently at the end of this month to discuss solutions:…

Mexico's Riviera Maya along the Yucatan Peninsula is also reporting a major influx of Sargassum.

Channel 7


Belize, Caribbean in Danger as Sargassum Invasion will be Much Worse

In 2018, News Five took a look at the crippling effects of sargassum, a brown, foul and invasive microalga. In October of last year, the Ministry of Tourism and the Belize Tourism Board worked on a plan to deal with the influx of sargassum which began affecting at least four top tourist destinations in Belize. While it was thought that 2018 was bad in terms of the sargassum invasion, 2020 is looking to be the worse year yet. Researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico warned on Tuesday that the Caribbean is at risk. This morning, Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Junior confirmed that a regional meeting will take place later in the month in Cancun where a regional plan will be created to address the problem.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism

“Our understanding is that the prediction this year will be worse than last year. We will be meeting in Cancun, all the ministers from the entire Caribbean and Mexico on the twenty eight to come up what is happening on each others’ grounds and to see what will be an overall solution to this. Just like the making sargassum block, and gas but that is some infant stages but we have to come up with other formulas. It is something that it is not caused by human being but probably human error that caused it to happen. But it is there and we have to make sure that we do the best out of it. It is helping a lot like in San Pedro where low areas are being field but that is not the solution. B.T.B. and government have partnered and we have been helping the industry with that two person which translates to twenty percent actually, dollar wise to be able to help our industry. Hopefully we will have to do that again. It also puts a heavy strain both at B.T.B. and government because those are monies that you earmarked for others, probable marketing and so, but you have to use to alleviating the problem but the problem is there. If we don’t take care of it then the industry will suffer.”

Channel 5



Ambergris Caye and the region once again threatened by Sargassum bloom

On Ambergris Caye, one of the areas frequented by tourist is the Boca del Rio strip and has become inundated with Sargassum making it unattractive and affecting all business establishments located on this stretch of beach. The mounds of decaying seaweed are causing a dent in the economy for the restaurants and bars along the beach. The stench of the Sargassum has led many visitors away from the eastern beaches of the island, where the problem grows every day with fresh seaweed arriving every night. According to a researcher at the University of Florida ISA, the Sargassum seaweed bloom will top the amount recorded in 2018. It is believed that this will take place, depending on environmental conditions and nutrient availability. The university researcher warned that the most immediate impact would be in the Caribbean region.

The Sanitation Department of The San Pedro Town Council has been struggling with the situation and were happy to notice a decrease before the Easter Holidays in April of this year. The current situation has them preparing on how to tackle the wave of seaweed. They stated that the Sargassum invasion is becoming a very complicated situation, and they can only hope that the influx will slow down. Meanwhile, a couple of resorts on the island continue to use floating barriers in front of their beach areas. The results have not been as favorable as hoped, as the increase in the arrival of Sargassum has overcome the barriers and is reaching their beach areas.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


Page 3 of 3 1 2 3

Links
Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!

Things to do

News
Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
BelizeNews.com
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Amandala
ReefTV
Love FM
The Reporter
PLUS TV
TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
SanPedroScoop
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater
San Pedro Fun Finder
Paradise Guy Event Calendar
Cayo Event Calendar

Blogs
San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
Tacogirl
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Belize Happy Adventures
Conch Creative
As The Coconuts Drop
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Click for Ian Anderson's Caves Branch, Welcome to a World of Adventure
Lil Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
May
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
ShoutChat Box
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 264 guests, and 8 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics69,054
Posts475,014
Members19,422
Most Online2,982
Jan 29th, 2019



AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1