According to various experts, the brownish unwelcome visitor is expected to land once again on the shores this year. Because the beaches have economical but also ecological value for the tourism industry, the solutions to tackle the invasion must be as efficient as environment friendly. Here is a brief comparative evaluation of the various solutions available:
- Heavy equipment? Bad idea : erosion and wildlife destruction (turtle nests) are so damaging that various states (US Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, etc.) did not hesitate to ban this kind of answers
- Booms/Nets? Not a good idea as they can be as inefficient (see the example in Antigua) as harmful for the wildlife (blocking of their movements, scattering of their polystyrene components)
- Beach-cleaning devices? Good idea, but… : erosion and turtle nesting issues demand machines with very limited impact on the ground. Rubber-tracked devices are the best option in this case.
- Pumping at sea? Best idea! No impact on the beaches, no interference with the wildlife. And no need to clean, as the sargassum is intercepted before it reaches the shore. In term of efficiency, the harvesting capacities are much higher and the only living being caught is the algae.
This last type of solutions is not the one you will be presented by usual companies working on this issue, so you may not be aware of them. But they exist and you can ask your CHTA representative to get more information. Because sargassum impacts the whole society, including communities and governmental agencies, you can have a word to say on the solution chosen. So do not hesitate to encourage them to chose the most efficient and greenest solution!