Under the weed, life abounds

The large floating mats of algae provide shelter for juvenile fish, eels and sea turtles. Flying fish lay their eggs amid this tangled mass. A vast cast of eclectic critters, like the thumbnail-sized sargassum frog fish, live their entire lives within the weed.

For sea turtles and sargassum, the relationship is complicated

At sea, sargassum provides vital shelter for a variety of species. Young turtle hatchlings even hitch rides on these floating mats, as they venture into the open ocean. But when the algae comes ashore in significant quantities, this beneficial relationship is betrayed.

Sargassum fertiliser offers alternative for organic agriculture

When Johanan Dujon began harvesting sargassum in Saint Lucia in 2014, he collected 1,500 pounds of the seaweed. This year, with his company Algas Organics, he is on track to harvest 1 million pounds.

Sargassum houses turn seaweed invasion into economic opportunity

Inspired by memories of his grandparents’ adobe house, a periodic place of refuge, Omar Vazquez developed a low-cost alternative to cement, using a substance that has invaded Caribbean shores in recent years – sargassum seaweed.

To protect tourist economy, resorts invest in seaweed-control business

To protect the paradisiac image of Caribbean beaches, sargassum control has risen as another pillar of the region’s tourist industry – and in Mexico, securing sargassum-control contracts has become competitive.

Scientists slowly unravel sargassum mystery

As Caribbean economies reel from the impacts of multiple years of sargassum invasions, a new field of research has emerged to find out what is fueling the phenomenon. The Cayman Compass talked to scientists from Barbados to Florida as they track the sargassum back to the source.

Mexican Caribbean entangled in seaweed invasion

It’s a hot summer day in Tulum, Mexico. The sun shines down on the white powder sand and tourists fill beach chairs along the shore. It’s an ideal day for a beach get-away. The only problem...

Sargassum and trash in Cuba

Julio Batista Rodríguez Periodismo de Barrio In Guanahacabibes, at the western end of Cuba, the garbage and sargassum carried by the sea’s currents have changed the topography of practically virgin beaches. A thick blanket arrives, wave after...

A regional menace

Sargassum invasions have affected more places than the Cayman Islands. From health concerns in Martinique to reports of a national emergency in Barbados and an economic crisis in Mexico, we look at how tides...

Minister Joey Hew: “Next year, we will be ready”

Infrastructure Minister Joey Hew sat down with the Cayman Compass to talk about government’s plans to deal with the sargassum threat.

Sargassum mapping empowers tourists

A less-than-postcard-perfect vacation to the Caribbean in 2013 resulted in one of the region’s most utilised tools for monitoring seaweed conditions on popular tourist beaches.

The Issue Explained: Sargassum in the Caribbean

Since 2011, periodic invasions of sargassum have been a feature of life in the Caribbean.

A deep dive into the seaweed

You smell it, before you see it. That pungent rotten-egg scent that carries on the sea breeze is the first warning sign of an unwelcome visitor to Cayman’s shores.

Businesses count the cost of an unwelcome visitor: sargassum

For large parts of the summer, sections of shoreline from South Sound to East End were smothered with a mass of sargassum. The only distinguishable scent was the potent sulphur-tinged odour of rotting seaweed.

More Sargassum Stories

A regional menace

Nice smell

NiCE Sargassum


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