University students in Cancún are helping address the seaweed invasion that has been depositing tonnes of sargasso on beaches throughout the Caribbean.
Technology students at the “Instituto Tecnológico de Felipe Carrillo Puerto” are promoting the use of the seaweed as fertilizer for local farms.
Those interested in the idea are already depositing seaweed at a designated dropoff site and workshops have been given about treating the sargasso for its use in agriculture, reports the Riviera Maya News. A program in France is under consideration as a model.
Students have been in touch with the Agriculture Secretariat, Sagarpa, about obtaining a special machine that can be used to gather the seaweed from the water.
As of late last week, collection efforts were gathering 35 tonnes of seaweed per day from Cancún beaches but more could be collected if more workers could be hired under the Temporary Employment Program.
Another tack is being tried in Tulum. Vertical nets were placed about 10 meters offshore where they successfully prevented about 80% of the seaweed from reaching hotel beaches.
Once caught by the nets, the seaweed is diverted to a place where it can be manually removed.
The innovative test was conducted in an area where there are no nesting turtles, and divers have been checking the nets for fish and other sea life that may have been caught.
Climate change and nutrients being released into the ocean have been cited as causes for a larger than usual amount of sargasso in recent years. But this year has seen a great deal more of it, and it has been showing up in places where it is not normally seen.
It represents a serious threat to tourism by leaving mounds of stinky, brown seaweed on otherwise pristine, white sand beaches.
– Source: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/
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