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Fisheries Department supports Sargassum cleanup

[Press Release] The Department of Fisheries, through the Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH) project, will be embarking on a series of initiatives to assist coastal communities that are most severely impacted by the influx of Sargassum along the coastline.

Therefore, the Department of Fisheries invites residents in the communities of Praslin, Dennery, Micoud and Savannes to community meetings to discuss proposed beach clean-ups and management plan for the Sargassum seaweed.

The schedule for the community meetings are as follows:

  • Dennery – March 6th (at the Dennery Primary School) at 5:30 pm
  • Micoud – March 7th (at the Micoud Secondary School) at 5:30 pm, and
  • Savannes – March 8th (at the Savannes Bay Fish Landing Site) at 3:00 pm
  • Praslin – March 12th (at the Praslin Community Centre) at 5:30 pm

Persons who own tractors, dump trucks, farmers, fishers, community groups, church and youth groups, environmental clubs, school clubs, business owners are asked to attend the meetings. All community residents are also invited.

The Department of Fisheries looks forward to the participation of everyone at these important community meetings.

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  1. Among the principal issues with the sargassum are that the sargassum affects lives on shore due to its accumulation affecting maritime transport and livelihoods and the rotting matter causing molestation to nasal passages. So why not explore solutions to keep the sargassum away from the shores in the first place. After all in the open ocean the sea weed is helpful for example for dolphin fishing and for feeding of other species. About the tangling of the seaweed in motors I’m sure our fishers can also be creative and, like fishers in Grenada, install shields around their propellers. There are plenty solutions all over our Caribbean that can be used. We need not remain cocooned on our little island rock and not good further. After all is this not what all those regional and international seminars and networking opportunities are about also?

    Why don’t we look down the Caribbean chain to Barbados or even up the chain to Hispanola where the use of sea weed barriers has been successfully executed in a sustainable manner that includes building the capacity of fishers in diving including certification (a lifetime lifestyle skill) for maintenance of the barriers.

    We have to look past short term solutions which are designed to secure public favour and long term votes and instead effect solutions which are long term and also impart lifetime skills and livelihoods to our peoples and their families.

    And about dealing with the material already on the shore, i trust that efforts will be made that there is minimal to no movement of heavy equipment on the beaches and also that there is minimal removal of sand and that rakes be used closer to the sand layer so that there is minimal sand removal.

    Here’s hoping good sense prevails here and in the cases of other matters critical to our sustainable development and the safeguarding of our patrimony.

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