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Aug 31, 2018

San Pedro & Placencia Experiencing an Extreme Case of Sargassum

In recent years, as early as 2011, the issue of Sargassum has been on the front-burner across the Caribbean. Here, in Belize, it was first recorded in late 2014. This year alone, the Sargassum has caused at least two fish kill in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. But the fish kill is just one of the many issues from this seasonal nuisance – it is an eye sore with an accompanying stench that is frustrating to locals and visitors alike. And it is also affecting businesses and their bottom line. In next week’s newscast, we’ll bring you an extended report on the troubling impacts of this seaweed. Here’s what one man’s experience has been with the Sargassum in San Pedro.


Kevin Locario

Kevin Locario, DJ, Blue Marlin’s

“Well, actually the tourists really complain about it. If you notice, we have the stoop right there, the verandah and so weh happen is that they sit here and can’t enjoy the ambience because of the bad smell. They can’t really enjoy being here and having a nice drink or a nice food or something.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Have the tourists complained?”


Kevin Locario

“Well, actually, yes. A couple of times walking by and they come up and ask what smell like that and what cause it to smell like that. So, I heard about it on the news before and the little I heard, I tried to educate them about it. It’s been detrimental.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Has it gotten worse – from the first amount of Sargassum that washed up on the beach, has it gotten worse since then and by how much?”


Kevin Locario

“Oh, yes, it did. It did. Actually, from I came out here about four months now, between the last three months, I could say probably it like almost doubled.”


Hipolito Novelo

“Have you lost any business because of that?”


Kevin Locario

“A lot of us have lost business.”


The Sargassum issue is not unique to San Pedro. In Placencia, the village council is taking on the seaweed that is invading their beaches.  They’ve called an emergency meeting today to devise a plan of action to deal with the sargassum. It is an annual problem that the peninsula faces but this year is the worst on record. They are reporting that tourism businesses are already feeling the effects of the presence of the nuisance seaweed.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “San Pedro & Placencia Experiencing an Extreme Case of Sargassum”

  1. Belizean View says:

    This entire disaster was done by BP (British Petroleum) back in 2010 when they by their negligence caused the oil spill as water and oil will never mix. The best thing is to do a documentary on how they have damaged the entire Caribbean countries and collectively they need to voice this internationally. The problem here in Belize is that Oceana has went tight lip as they get funding by means of donations from these companies either directly or indirectly reason they don’t make any noise on it. Also, if we would have had a responsible government they should have seek a way and make it an alarming situation internationally on forums of climate change. Not just go to this big meetings internationally of climate change and sit without voicing it. I hope the Opposition Leader do take a deep look in this alarming situation that is now affecting the tourist destinations and the impact that is having on Belizeans that now only depend on tourist.

  2. The Truth... says:

    Belizean View needs to get his facts correct. This has nothing to do with the BP oil spill, though I am not writing to stand up for what happened in the gulf. The current Sargassum problem is generated in the South Atlantic, and is thought to be caused by all the fertilizers and chemicals used by farmers running into the rivers and then the sea, causing a ‘mega-bloom’. Largely, Brazil is to blame for all the run-off that ends in the sea. This Sargassum bloom is affecting the whole Caribbean, and further afield, even as far as Europe!

    Yes, the BP spill has caused many problems, but not this one…

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