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Sargassum A Beautiful Menace

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Here is the Instagram video of “Sargassum – A Beautiful Menace” on a Barbados beach. It is remarkably beautiful with its yellow-brown carpet in the ocean and on the shore but it is not a welcome sight for vacationers and locals who use the beach.

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Teams of workers have removed the Sargassum seaweed along the boardwalk beach. The ocean is sparkling clear today and the Sargassum is piled off the boardwalk and ready to go processing plans and fill. It seemed like an impossible task just a few days ago but teams of workers with shovels, rakes and wheel barrows have won the day. Sargassum is a floating seaweed that has tiny bags of air among its thick yellow-brown foliage. It looked like a carpet of yellow on the surface of ocean but thanks to changing tides and wind its blown away today – floating still but out of sight. It gathers and blooms in the middle of the North Atlantic in an area of about 2 million square miles, known as the Sargasso Sea. It is an environmental nuisance for tourism. However it is an important ecological species creating a refuge for a variety marine life. The excessive blooms are a worry as it can smother corals and seagrasses as well as impact tourism if it ends up on beaches. Global warming, deforestation and fertilizers are suspected to be driving the current excessive blooms. Barbados is tackling the issue with manpower and new machinery for harvesting it at sea. A number of entrepreneurs are harvesting it for fertilizers and medical uses. According to It is a vital source of iodine and is rich in a nutrients. “It has a long history of traditional use and has been used in Asian traditional medicine systems for thousands of years.” See more about Barbados Tourism revival in spike of all the obstacles. ▶️https:\\\blog\tourismrevival\ #sargassum #barbados #boardwalk #tapas

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Sweeping Sargassum Off the Beaches & Shores

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Sargassum a yellow carpet on the ocean. A spectacular site but a  Menace to tourism and lifestyles
Ocean covered with a carpet of Yellow. Beautiful but a real menace to swimmers and sunbathers
Managing the Sargassum Menace
Teams of workers dig, pick up, rake and wheel barrow the Sargassum menace from the beach
Raking the beach clean
Making headway by Tapas Restaurant – This beach is now free of the weed
Sargassum squad downs tool to refresh themselves in the shade
Sargassum pileup – a moment of rest for the workers
Sargassum - A Beautiful Menace swept away by the Beach cleanup
Sargassum – same beach the day after cleanup

Beach & Coastal Cleanup Essential

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Harvesting the Beautiful Menace

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Sargassum left on the beach is not only unsightly and a menace to tourists and locals who want to use the beach, it is also an environmental hazard.

Vacationers except soft, white, clean sand to relax and sunbathe on between dips into a clear Caribbean sea. Bathing in a beautiful carpet of yellow-brown seaweed is just not appealing. The weed is also a hazard and disrupts fishermen and fishes’ habitats. Beach and coastal management is essential to maintaining the integrity of habitats, livelihoods and tourism.

Some hotels, such as the Crane, as well as the Government have invested in all sorts of preventative and harvesting technology to intercept and handle the blooms at sea and onshore.

The Barbados Coast Guard, the BADMC, the Ministry of Transport, the Barbados Water Authority and the Fisheries have all come together to map out a strategy for harvesting and managing the Barbados Sargassum invasion. At the same time, local industry is coming up with innovative ways to gather and process Sargassum.

Art & Coconuts On A Sargassum Shore

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“Sargassum – A Beautiful Menace” is the backdrop to this video of the amazing art of the coconut tree. Its bark is broken and stitched with the precision of an artist.

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have you ever studied the coconut bark in detail ? This one is amazing when you look close. It is like a battered soldier, bruised and stitched. The markings, scars and etching are intricate and beautiful. A work of art. The little tree gave me shelter from the sun and let me hang my wet swim top on its stems and branches. The swim top was a help to swim throught the floating weeds from the Sagosso sea. The sargassum sea weed is not harmful as it floats in the water. It can be a bit coarse and abrasive as you swim. It float in patches so you dont have to swim through it if you dont want to. The worst of the sargassum looks like it is over. a massive effort has gone into clearing the beaches with teams of workers clearing the sand and shore. More on this soon.

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Barbados Chemists Mine the Weed

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In Barbados, chemists Kemar K.J. Codrington and Mikhail T.A. Eversley have taken up the challenge to harness Sargassum for cosmetics. They started OASIS Laboratory and are now producing specialty bath soaps made from Sargassum under the brand OCEAN by OASIS.

Sargassum A Beautiful Menace mined for minerals and made into skincare and medical products

OASIS is the first in the world to develop and market a Sargassum-derived skincare product line. Their products are named after Barbados scenic places, local fruits, local foods and nature.

As they say, they always: “Embrace local, embrace Caribbean”. Instead of the English apple, they prefer a Barbados golden apple or mango. Their Roast Breadfruit soap is a favorite. See more at:

Skincare benefits from Sargassum

Barbados Ocean Skincare by Oasis – A Sargassum-derived product

Benefits & Uses of Sargassum

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Stay tuned for more on Sargassum’s uses and the entrepreneurs who are creating international markets for its by-products.

Barbados is starting to harvest Sargassum for alternative fuels, fertilizers and other uses, which include paper products, food and cosmetics.

Sargassum contains alginic acid, which is used as a thickener and emulsifier in the food industry. Its cellulose and hemicellulose are the bases of paper. It is also a source of iodine, mineral salts, bromine and vitamins. Some of its uses now include making cosmetics, as well as hair and skincare products.

The Science of Sargassum Biodiversity

The harvesting and processing of Sargassum for biofuels, energy, biodegradable products and fertilizers is somewhat problematic as the blooms and supplies are intermittent. Longer term harvesting is not sustainable.

A study by ScienceDirect concluded that “Sargassum mono-digestion is unsustainable for energy extraction given its low bioconversion efficiency and unpredictable influx volume.”

The same study did find that Sargassum used as a catalyst in solid waste treatment could enhance energy recovery significantly: “The co-digestion of these seaweeds with organic municipal solid waste is economically and energetically advantageous, potentially enhancing energy recovery by 5-fold.

However, the study concluded that using Sargassum in commercial energy and fertilizer production has potential even if the local supply is erratic. “Income can also be derived through the agricultural application of the digestate generated both locally and externally, following ammonia treatment and heavy metal stripping.”

Related Research/Links

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Research on Sargassum at UWI

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