DoE urges caution over seaweed removal

| 28/06/2017 | 11 Comments
Cayman News Service

Sargassum on the beach in North Side

(CNS): Beachfront and tourism property owners are being urged to be cautious if they are removing Sargassum seaweed from the beach. According to the Department of the Environment, with the recent influx on Grand Cayman’s southern coasts, some owners are attempting to remove it but this can have a very destabilising effect on beaches unless care is taken, and the removal of the seaweed can also threatened turtle nests.

The DoE said the Sargassum seaweed should be removed by hand raking, as machinery can remove a lot of sand along with the seaweed. Officials warned that machinery cannot be used without prior consultation with the DoE and the issuance of a letter of approval outlining the conditions.

“Given that we are in the active turtle nesting and hatching season, it is critical that no machinery is taken onto any beach without DoE approval,” said a DoE spokesperson, who noted that no one needs permission to rake the beach.

The change in the weather has brought the Sargassum but the recent increase in the amount of seaweed blooms in parts of the Atlantic is due to a growth in nutrients in the ocean and higher water temperatures.

Sargassum consolidates into large mats and is transported by ocean currents towards and throughout the Caribbean. While its presence can create a nuisance for water-based recreation and leave an unpleasant smell when it starts to decompose, it’s an important nursery habitat that provides shelter and food for endangered species, such as sea turtles, and for commercially important species of fish. Some gardeners also say it makes excellent fertilizer.

Recognizing that some owners will want to remove the Sargassum, the DoE has produced guidelines on the least intrusive measures.

To view the guidelines, go to the DoE’s website here or on Facebook or call the DoE  for more information on 949-8469.

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Category: Land Habitat, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “hand raking” – the old Caymanian way.

    Everybody wants to take short-cuts today; everything must be “easy”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    get the prisoners to do it have them go down there and do a full days work that should get it cleaned

    • Anonymous says:

      That makes too much sense. SO it won’t happen. Seriously though, community service should be given as a sentence, not jail for some of these offenses. Beach cleaning should be the top community job.

  3. wawa says:

    every one, just about is complaining about,( what darts doing)
    dart is not doing anything that he do not have permission for.
    all the the land was sold to him. look at the good roads we now have.
    the beautifull parks, and every thing is done to perfection.
    look at the other developers who bought out seven mile beach years ago, and made million and millions. they did not put one thatch hut back any place.

    • Anonymous says:

      What does this have to do with the removal of Sargassum from the beach?

    • Anonymous says:

      8:06am, it would be appreciated if some effort could be put into the maintenance of some of Dart’s Parks.

      • Anonymous says:

        You may want to look into who owns those “dart” parks now.

        Most have been handed over to Government. So it’s not Dart who isn’t maintaining them; its CIG!

        Go figure.

    • papa says:

      Dart owns half of Grand Cayman. Do you want him to own it all?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Have Dart do it. He does everything so well AND he’s got experience ripping up, err, improving the beach. Thanks Daddy D!

  5. Anonymous says:

    “commercially important species of fish”, Gotta love it.
    So mama fish says to baby fish, “Little one, you are commercially important.”

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