Caribbean News

Stinky sargassum blamed for marine disaster; dolphins, flying fish and turtles trapped

Photo by Adrian Yearwood, Barbados

#Barbados, Wednesday, June 6, 2018 Hawksbill sea turtles, an unknown number of dolphins and the incredible flying fish of Barbados were among the rescued marine animals on Monday when miles and miles of sargassum blanketed the Tent Bay and St Joseph shores of Barbados.

One resident’s account is that dolphins died,  that flying fish are now scarce and the area around the Crane Hotel was polluted with a foul odor due to the extreme collection of sargassum.  

Nation News reports in an online article that residents flocked to the build-up, which was described as the worst ever seen.  An excerpt from the online report said:

“A number of marine animals were also tangled in the seaweed and brave citizens with the help of fishermen and representatives of the Bellairs Research Institute in Barbados,a field station for McGill University of Canada, risked their lives going through the thick seaweed to rescue and catch the marine life. Among the niggerhead and other pot fish caught, about six hawksbill sea turtles were rescued. An undisclosed number of flipper dolphins, eels and congo snakes were also spotted but were dead.”

The National Conservation Commission of Barbados seems to be taking the swarm of sargassum in stride, responding that they have been monitoring the situation for days; adding that clean up exercises were already being planned.  

Keith Neblett, General Manager of the NCC said the sargassum was widespread, plaguing beaches which he listed as Crane beach, Bathsheba, Long beach and other beaches along the South Coast and East Coast.

It is confirmed that clean up  of the shoreline flanking the Atlantic Ocean was ongoing today.

Although sargassum is increasingly becoming a nuisance to nations of the Caribbean; it is considered by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, NOAA to be an ‘essential marine habitat.’

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