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May 11, 2022

More Options to Address Sargassum Problem Discussed

Andre Perez

In order to export sargassum as a raw material to convert into firewood, collecting the sea grass is another key aspect of its overall management. Today, Minister of the Blue Economy and Area Representative for Belize Rural South, Andre Perez, said there are quicker ways to extract sargassum from the seashore than with rakes, shovels and wheelbarrows, but it’s costly. Nonetheless, it’s an option, he says, that San Pedro is looking at.

 

Andre Perez, Minister of Blue Economy

“We are looking at bringing a fleet of pontoon boats that will be able to capture the sargassum in the water, not on the beach and uniquely speaking with Caye Caulker and San Pedro. There are cuts on the reef and when you fly over the reef, you can clearly turn into a like bottle neck and it comes through the cuts. This is where the bulk of the sargassum is coming (through) so we are making this ambitious plan where we can capture that sargassum before it lands at sea. Whatever lands on the beach it can be clearly done by the Council and the different hoteliers that are on the beach. And certainly it’s going to cost, part of the funding we have to seek out there, also we’re going to be working along with B.T.B., we have PACT out there that can give us assistance. This is within the marine reserves, as well as the private sector will be looking into that because not only obtaining these pontoon boats, but we have to maintain them, the burning of diesel. We have to set up a place where it’s going to be collected, so it’s an ambitious plan, but we’re starting today. I think that in the end, it’s going to be an experiment, but we feel that this is the one that is going to work the best right now. As it relates to the sargassum, this year has been overwhelming.”


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