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Topic: Sargassum

Sargassum a threat to turtle nesting

As large mats of sargassum continue to float to shore on all three islands, Department of Environment staff and volunteers are monitoring the impact this has on turtle nesting.

Sargassum returns to Cayman shores

In what has become an unwelcome annual event, mats of sargassum again are bobbing off the coast of Cayman and blanketing local beaches and seafronts.

Use sargassum as compost

Here in Pennsylvania, we can compost leaves, lawn grass cuttings, and other short greenery. We cannot easily compost long grass cuttings and any sticks.  It...

Sargassum a climate-change issue

Sargassum hasn’t blanketed all the beaches in the Cayman Islands with the blight of foul-smelling seaweeds.  We remember how the last sargassum invasion was handled,...

Year in Review: The summer of sargassum

An occasional menace in summers past, sargassum swamped Cayman’s beaches in such volumes this year, the problem became impossible to ignore.

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...

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...

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...

Beach cleaning carries erosion threat

Cleaning up beaches to get rid of mounds of sargassum can risk causing beach erosion and impact turtle nests if not handled properly, the...

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 solution

Today's editorial cartoon

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.

Warming seas a ‘stark reality’

As long as mankind (and Caymankind) ignore the truth of climate change and climate warming is as long as sargassum seaweed will invade all the seas in warming waters around the Caribbean and the world.

Masses of seaweed invade Cayman shores

Weeks after government workers cleared 200 tons of sargassum from Grand Cayman’s coastlines, the invasive seaweed has returned to the island.

NiCE crew provides sargassum relief on Grand Cayman beaches

Six workers with the National Community Enhancement Project, known as NiCE, cleaned Cayman’s beaches of invasive seaweed from South Sound to North Side this month.

Letter: Tourists can help clean up sargassum

Noting the problem of sargassum on the beaches, I’d be happy to spend a couple of days cleaning up, and giving back to the island which has given us so much.

NiCE summer work wraps up

This summer’s National Community Enhancement work project, known as NiCE, finished on Friday, after 486 unemployed Caymanians, working in 18 teams, completed the two-week clean-up programme.

NiCE workers clear sargassum from beaches

Seasonal workers in the National Community Enhancement programme have been removing sargassum seaweed from the local beaches over the past week.

Record sargassum bloom may be new norm

The potent smell of sargassum and the environmental problems the seaweed creates for the Cayman Islands are unlikely to diminish in the coming years, according to a study that appeared in Science magazine on Friday.

Citizen army to fight seaweed on the beaches

Hundreds of unemployed Caymanians will begin clearing Cayman’s beaches of sargassum from next Monday after the government’s summer work programme was brought forward to help deal with the seaweed invasion.

Caribbean sargassum invasion garners regional response

Thirteen Caribbean and Latin American nations agreed to concerted control efforts last week to address the influx of sargassum seaweed that has impacted coastlines and economies across the region.

Nice smell

Nice smell — Our editorial cartoon

NiCE Sargassum

Today's editorial cartoon.

EDITORIAL – A NiCE way to manage sargassum

As government works on a long-term strategy for managing unsightly (and awfully smelly) mounds of beached sargassum, it makes sense to call on the National Community Enhancement programme, known as NiCE, for assistance, as has been proposed.

Jessop: Sargassum presents a continuing challenge

There are indications that the Caribbean may again see this year unusually large amounts of sargassum seaweed washed up on its shores.

Letter: Managing sargassum

Too much seaweed and not enough gardens these days.

Cayman coastline hit by stinky seaweed, again

The stench coming from many of Cayman’s beaches these days is horrible. That was the reaction from Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, as the stench of rotting sargassum wafted through the Cayman Islands.

Sargassum certainty

Today's editorial cartoon.

EDITORIAL – In search of sargassum solutions

Cayman cannot control the ocean currents that occasionally steer sargassum in our direction, but working together, we can be prepared with a quick, efficient and effective response when it does.

Sargassum problem ‘here to stay’

Environment officials are investigating long-term solutions to the ongoing problem of regular invasions of foul smelling sargassum seaweed that have impacted Cayman’s beaches over the past few years.

Sargassum seaweed clogs coastline

Some coastal areas of Grand Cayman are experiencing influxes of Sargassum seaweed, with mats of the rotting reddish-brown seaweed drifting into shore along South Sound, pictured above, West Bay and other locations.

High seas batter Grand Cayman’s west coast

Cayman waterfront businesses were working Sunday to clean up and repair their premises after winds and high waves battered George Town, Seven Mile Beach and West Bay over the weekend.

Sharp drop in nesting turtle numbers

Despite threats from poachers, plastic pollution, coastal development and now sargassum seaweed, researchers remain optimistic about the long-term survival of the Cayman Islands nesting sea turtle population.

Sargassum iguanas

Today's editorial cartoon

Sargassum invasion hits Cayman again

Several Cayman Islands beaches were blanketed in foul-smelling sargassum weed again this week, with the Department of Environment warning periodic seaweed invasions are likely to continue.


Today's editorial cartoon

Mail Call: Sargassum summer

Sargassum. It is quickly becoming a dirty word here in the Caribbean, as massive floating mats of the stuff inundate our shores.

Clearing sargassum comes with environmental risks

As thick mats of yellow seaweed continue to invade Cayman’s beaches, canals and harbors, environment officials are warning the cure could be worse than the problem.

EDITORIAL – Sargassum summer: Cayman’s loyal but unpopular guest

Sargassum is more than a nuisance; the flotillas of flora pose a real threat to our tourism economy.

It’s back: Sargassum befouls local beaches

Unsightly mats of sargassum weed have washed up in Grand Cayman, bringing with them a foul odor and potential problems for the tourism industry.

Sargassum seaweed returns to Cayman

Beachgoers reported an influx of sargassum seaweed this weekend at a number of beaches and coastal areas on the south side of Grand Cayman and in parts of West Bay.

‘It keeps washing in’: Sargassum chokes beaches in wake of Irma

Cayman’s business owners are teaming up to rid the beaches of a smelly vestige of Hurricane Irma. The Cayman Islands Tourism Association sent an advisory this week regarding the seaweed and trash that has been accumulating along Seven Mile Beach.

Seaweed covers South Sound beach

Sargassum seaweed, which hits Grand Cayman’s coastline from time to time, is seen on the beach at South Sound, where it has been settling for a couple of weeks.

Sargassum seaweed floods Cayman’s coastline

It’s back. Grand Cayman’s coastline, from farthest east to the southwest, was awash in seaweed "mats" – known as Sargassum – following windy weather that hit the island in mid-June.

Sargassum threat is the ‘new normal’ for Caribbean

Major influxes of dense mats of foul-smelling sargassum seaweed, like those that invaded Cayman’s beaches last summer, could be the “new normal” for the Caribbean, according to scientists and policymakers gathered in Cayman for a regional fisheries conference last week. Researchers are warning that such incursions could become commonplace,

Seaweed still clogging Cayman beaches

Sargassum seaweed continues to float ashore throughout Grand Cayman.

Seaweed blankets Seven Mile Beach

The typically pristine shoreline along Seven Mile Beach has been covered in a massive amount of unsightly sargassum seaweed since Wednesday morning. Clean-up operations were stalled Thursday as more seaweed was expected to wash ashore later in the day.

This week