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Sargassum Seaweed in 2016?

2015 broke the records in term of seaweed influxes. All islands got impacted, and in several of them, the tourism sector seriously suffered from it. What will be the situation in 2016? To answer this question, it is crucial to understand well the origin of the phenomenon.

Briefly: the seaweed comes from a Second Sargasso Sea, located between the Brazilian and the western African coasts. This part of the ocean offers the ideal conditions for the seaweed to develop: nutrients and warm water. Nutrients come from the fertilizers, washed up in the ocean thanks to the intensive agriculture and the deforestation. The rising of ocean temperature, particularly noteworthy in the Second Sargasso Sea region, is due global warming.

Scientists are not able to confirm 2016 influxes will be the same, more or less than in 2015. But as Hume said, “The same cause always produces the same effect”.

And when you look at the main causes of the phenomenon, you notice that:

  • The use of fertilizer in Brazil will continue to grow in the following years (cf. Fertilizer Outlook 2015-2019, IFA)
  • The deforestation is slowing down, but continues to grow (cf., 27/11/15)
  • The ocean temperature is still rising (cf. National Centers for Environmental Information, 10/15)

What can it be concluded from this? “The bigger the causes, the bigger the effects”, would have said Hume. That is why experts are already predicting an increase of the quantity and the frequency of the influxes. And they might be right: since mid-January, Guadeloupe got some of its beaches impacted and a harbor blocked. St Martin also got fresh seaweed on its shores. And huge mats were seen close to St Lucia. Are you ready to receive them adequately?

MasterCard and CHTA Present Destination Market: Caribbean Study
Galley Bay Resort and Spa World Wetland Day 2016
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