Management at The Crane has purchased a seaweed boom and it is expected to be delivered within a few weeks. The seaweed boom will work by creating a barrier which keeps the seaweed at least swimming distance from shore.
The boom is made with a robust and flexible material, allowing it to float along the surface of the water to effectively contain seaweed and prevent its spreading to swimming areas and the shore.
- Top Flotation: Extends Above the Surface to Control Floating Seaweed
- Bottom Skirt: Contains Seaweed Beneath the Surface
- Impermeable Fabric: Blocks Materials from Entering the Swimming Areas
What causes the seaweed to wash up on the beach?
Scientists are still unable to agree on a single cause. Theories range from shifts in ocean currents to climate change to the gulf oil spill, but there is no proven reason.
How often does it occur and how long does it last?
It is an annual occurrence in the summer months usually August - October. In 2011, there were excessive amounts which caused some concern for the first time, but there was no clear understanding of what caused the increase in volume particularly on the North, East and South Coasts. Last year, in 2014 was another year of great concern. However, it is the levels we are seeing at this time of year that are inexplicable and puzzling.
Is it safe?
It is safe to touch and walk through. While some cultures use the seaweed as a tea, the seaweed in Barbados washes in with debris so persons are advised against ingesting it.
What about the smell?
Sargassum seaweed is used as a nursery for lots of small fish and other surface dwelling animals and plants. The natural decay of other fish and surface dwelling organisms when it washes in causes the smell you may have noticed.
What happens to it once it washes up?
It will either wash back out to sea or decompose, if it is not manually removed.
What is The Crane doing to clear it?
We will employ the use of a bobcat to clear our shores immediately and have already purchased a seaweed boom for a more long term solution.
For more information on Sargassum Seaweed, visit www.sargassoalliance.org