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OG Giiurnal - In the West Indies, the fight against sargassum is slipping



With the demonstrable ability to migrate oceans, as global warming stirs up the oceans and winds, sargassum could see the Indian and Pacific oceans, also up shit creek without a paddle. There simply are not sufficient funds locally to be able to deal with an international world epidemic in the making. Let us hope that COP27 is more productive than FLOP26. With sargassum lapping at the shores of Australia, China, Indian and Japan, those countries at the moment at arms length from the biblically proportional pestilence, might then begin to see the wood, for the trees. When they woke up and inhaled a nostril full of noxious odours. What is for sure, standing still, is going backwards - because a fast growing invasive species does not have committee meetings to decide what committees should be set up to decide on an action plan. Sargassum just gets on with it. H. G. Wells had it spot on with War of the Worlds. Except, he got the color of the weed wrong, it is brown not red.





The French-owned archipelago of Guadeloupe actually consists of the smaller islands of Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes. Les Abymes is the most populated city. There, you’ll find French-speaking locals out and about enjoying the impressive, lush scenery. Or at least that is how it was before the deadly Sargassum plague. Population in 2019: 400,124.




At the marina of Saint-François, usually frequented by tourists, July was a "dirty month". "Truedirty ntinsists Arnaud, a sailor who lives on board his sailboat. The horizon was a brown expanse and the smell was pestilent. »

Sargassum, these brown algae that proliferate on the surface of the ocean, have completely invaded the port of Guadeloupe, immobilizing ships at the pier. « Impimpossible to move, otherwise the propeller breaks. A week passed before they were picked up," the young man continues.

In the other islands of Guadeloupe, the only port available for Marie-Galante and La Désirade is regularly blocked by algae and in Martinique history has been repeating itself for ten years: beaches invaded by vegetation, a disgusting smell of "rotten egg" and a tourist in ruins season.

During his visit to the West Indies in July, the Minister Delegate for the Overseas Territories, Jean-François Carenco, acknowledged the "crisis" caused by the massive Sargassum stranding. Just announced, Monday 1Uh August, the creation of an "anti-Sargassum public service" by mid-October. The goal, indicates a ministerial statement, is to overcome the difficulties encountered by some local authorities, through the centralization of "needs, means, measures and responsibilities" within a single operator.


This measure is in addition to the Sargassum II plan, launched by the government in March 2022 for four years and with a budget of 36 million euros. Eleven million euros had already been disbursed by the state and the European Union during a first plan in 2018, after the visit to the West Indies of the then Minister of Ecology, Nicolas Hulot. The sum had been used essentially for satellite monitoring of algae and for research, and not for immediate and concrete solutions, they had then deplored the exposed inhabitants.

"On this dossier it is difficult to listen to citizens, while we daily come into contact with Sargassum, we are the best experts" regrets Willy Eliezer, a member of the anti-sargassum association of the Frégate-Est district, in Martinique, which has co-financed, with its neighbors, an "anti-sargassum dam", which keeps algae offshore. "The municipality did not help us. Most communities insist on going to the beaches, which is absolutely useless. »

Statements confirmed by the researchers: "Backhoe loaders greatly erode the beaches. Intervening in the open sea is an ecologically and economically more viable method," explains Sarra Gaspard, a chemist specializing in de-pollution at the University of the West Indies.


Especially since the harvest is often slow, despite the promise of Nicolas Hulot, who had promised that the Sargassum would be removed in less than forty-eight hours. After this time, in fact, toxic and irritating gases for humans decompose and release, such as ammonia and hydrogen sulfide.

Every week at the Fort-de-France hospital centre, Dr Dabor Résière dedicates an afternoon to the patients who are victims of Sargassum. He estimates that 95% to 98% of them suffer from headaches and neurological disorders, 80% of digestive disorders (vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea)...

"Some patients also present depressive symptoms and great anxiety, related to the deterioration of the quality of life, the need to change accommodation continues the doctor. But clinically, there is a lack of research. The consequences of chronic poisoning are not yet known, beyond fourteen days. »

However, research is ongoing: in early July, a study by the Martinique Hospital Center reported, for example, a high risk of pre-eclampsia (pregnancy disease linked to hypertension) in pregnant women living near the affected coasts.  By Isabella Matta



The second interministerial plan against Sargassum is divided into three parts:

1. "Preventive action": forecasting of grounding, sustainability of the monitoring network, gas measurement system, initiation of a study on the impact of physical factors (winds, tides, rains, etc.), etc.

2. "The operational response": creation of an atlas of the sites concerned, adoption of collection management plans at sea and on land for each selected site, determination of a storage strategy, definition of an emergency response plan, etc.

3. "Governance": creation of a territorial steering committee, under the authority of the prefect, for the elaboration of land management plans.





Map of the Caribbean Sea showing the main Islands



Map of the Caribbean Sea, showing the Greater, Lesser, and Leeward Antilles, the Leeward and Windward Islands.






Sargassum: scourge of brown algae in Guadeloupe and Martinique

3.5.2022 - Answer in writing

Question for written answer E-001674/2022
to the Commission
Rule 138
Aurélia Beigneux (ID)

Sargassum is a brown macroalgae that is naturally buoyant, meaning that it can live and reproduce on the surface of the sea. It can inundate dozens of kilometres of coastline. The effects of Sargassum washing up on the coastlines of the West Indies and Guyana are very serious [1].

Sargassum also affects human health [2], accumulating on coastlines and making beaches and ports dirty and sometimes impossible for boats to enter. Furthermore, as the seaweed dries it releases hydrogen sulphide and ammonia, which can cause headaches, nausea and vomiting. While offshore, Sargassum can be broken up by passing motor boats, and this helps it spread. Lastly, tourists choose not to visit the seaweed-filled beaches, heading for non-polluted areas instead [3].

In light of the above, could the Commission please answer the following questions:

1. What is it intending to do to help overseas territories that are bearing the brunt of the problems caused by this seaweed?


2. Will a structured action plan be introduced, and if so, what will the timeframe be?

Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius on behalf of the European Commission

4.7.2022 - Written question

The implementation of appropriate actions to address the issue of the accumulation of Sargassum in affected regions of the EU remains under the competence of individual Member States.

Under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF), Member States can support the protection and restoration of the marine environment. The Commission is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this fund by France [4] and other Member States.

The Commission has initiated and supported so far, a number of algae-related initiatives that are in an implementation or planning phase (2021-2023). Examples of these include initiatives that contribute to our knowledge base, like the Commission’s Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy [5], the Joint Research Centre’s (JRC) biomass study [6], which will further contribute to our ocean literacy on the extent of the accumulation of Sargassum and hopefully will lead to a more concrete solution to manage this issue.





Two questions posed to the European Commission via the European Parliamentary system, asking for help for overseas territories, who are bearing the brunt of sargassum seaweed. Guadeloupe and Martinique are also asking if there will be a structured plan and if so what the timeframe will be. 






It is clear from the answer to this very important question, that much like plastic, there will be very little direct action to clean up the Caribbean Sea. Islanders are therefore on their own, except perhaps for research, and here, you will find that data is mostly protected by those carrying out such research. The concerns of the islanders remains unsupported, they are on their own - despite the excesses of the EU contributing to climate change, one of the root causes of macro algae blooms. The UNEP has a white paper on the subject, again without any definite action plan. Though the problem has been steadily escalating since 2014.



Reading between the lines, and just as with single use plastic, the EU European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) do not fund solutions. (But their Minister, Karmenu Vella, gives rousing speeches that make you think they might fund action.) We've actually been, seen and filmed the gaslighting for ourselves. Then watched over the next few years as nothing happened.


The European Commission fund research and more research, but not solutions. In the hope that the data and other logging of information will somehow magic up a solution. And that is why we have the Russia-Ukraine war. The EU knew how dangerous is was not to accelerate hydrogen and battery technology to rid us of fossil fuels from dangerous empire building kleptocrats. And they knew that burning fossil fuels was causing the warming oceans that would cause sargassum blooms. But they just sat on their hands.


They don't even have an infrastructure to support electric vehicles at present, knowing the heat waves are getting worse.


We're all right Jack. Please don't rock our political boat!


The moment you have a solution, there is no need for research. Oops, all that taxpayer's money spent on research is, or was, wasted. Money wasted is a bigger societal carbon footprint, needing more financial enslavement, as a rod to the back of the working man, to generate the taxes to pay for all that thinking and administration.


Knowledge is only power if you act on it. Knowledge for the sake of knowing, is worthless. Reference, Dutch Boy.


It would serve them right if the Mediterranean Sea heralded another (New) Sargasso Sea - as the pestilence takes a hold on all water on planet earth. Then, and only then, might policies shift from thinking about something, to doing something.


In a crisis, we don't need think-tanks, we need do-tanks.


They will only realise they are up shit creek without a paddle they have helped to create in the Caribbean and West African coast, is washing up on their shores, then they will be in the shit themselves. Caused by inaction, trailing curves, instead of leading edges.






SARGASSUM: Represents an immediate threat to the economics of the Caribbean Islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and African West Coast, but is also a potential asset if it can be economically harvested and used for, among other things, fertilizer for agriculture: where there is a world shortage.

















Cuba 11,252,999 
Haiti 11,263,077 (Hispaniola)
Dominican Republic 10,766,998 (Hispaniola)
Puerto Rico (US) 3,508,000 
Jamaica 2,729,000 
Trinidad and Tobago 1,357,000
Guadeloupe (France) 405,000 
Martinique (France) 383,000 
Bahamas 379,000
10 Barbados 283,000
11 Saint Lucia 172,000 
12 Curaçao (Netherlands) 157,000
13 Aruba (Netherlands) 110,000 
14 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 110,000 
15 United States Virgin Islands 105,000 
16 Grenada 104,000 
17 Antigua and Barbuda 89,000 
18 Dominica 71,000
19 Cayman Islands (UK) 59,000 
20 Saint Kitts and Nevis 46,000 
21 Sint Maarten (Netherlands) 39,000 
22 Turks and Caicos Islands (UK) 37,000 
23 Saint Martin (France) 36,000 
24 British Virgin Islands (UK) 31,000 
25 Caribbean Netherlands 26,000 
26 Anguilla (UK) 14,000 
27 Saint Barthélemy (France) 10,000 
28 Montserrat (UK) 5,000

29 Tortuga 25,936

30 Roatán 110,000




Map of Port Royal, before the Jamaican city was sunk



Map of Port Royal from 1692, where the notorious buccaneer, Sir Henry Morgan was buried, along with a Code to give meaning a treasure Map inherited by Lord Huntington - giving the whereabouts of a Kings ransom. Unfortunately, Port Royal was sunk when hit by an earthquake and tsunami in June 1692, along with the grave of the infamous buccaneer, lost in time until re-discovered by John Storm and the Elizabeth Swann. This is the start of a race to find the hidden stash, involving treachery and industrial espionage.




The Caribbean Sea is littered with shipwrecks and dotted with dozens of paradise islands, where pirates are said to have buried their treasure. Many island nations are at risk as to rising sea levels, caused by climate change, with the United Nations powerless to deal with global warming, being dependent on fossil fuels.





Spanish Caribbean Islands



Spanish Caribbean Islands 1600 Spanish Overseas territories Northern America Turks and Caicos Islands (1492-1516, 1516-1678) * Islas Turcas y Caicos The Bahamas (1492-1516, 1516-1648) *Islas Lucayas Bermuda (1503-1516, 1516-1609) *Carabela/Isla de los Diablos Greater Antilles Cuba (1492-1762, 1763-1898) *Juana Cayman Islands (UK) (1503-1670) *Islas de las Tortugas La Española/Hispanola (1492-1795, 1801-1822) Dominican Republic (1492-1795, 1801-1822, 1861-1863) *Santo Domingo Haiti (1492-1793) *Santa María Jamaica (1492-1655) *Isla Santiago Puerto Rico (US) (1493-1898) *San Juan Bautista Lesser Antilles Leeward Islands: Virgin Islands (1493-1587) *Islas Once Mil Vírgenes / Islas Vírgenes St. Thomas (US) (1493-1587) St. John (US) (1493-1587) St. Croix (US) (1493-1587) Water Island (US) (1493-1587) British Virgin Islands (UK) (1493-1648) *Islas Once Mil Vírgenes / Islas Vírgenes Tortola (UK) (1493-1648) Virgin Gorda (UK) (1493-1672) Anegada (UK) (1493-1672) Jost Van Dyke (UK) (1493-1672) Anguilla (UK) (1500-1631, 1631-1650) *Isla de la Anguila Saint Martin/Sint Maarten (France/Neth.) (1493-1631) *San Martín Saint-Barthélemy (Fr.) (1493-1648) *San Bartolomeo Saba (Neth.) (1493-1640) *Saba/San Cristóbal Sint Eustatius (Neth.) (1493-1640) *San Eustaquio St. Kitts and Nevis (1493-1628) *Nuestra Señora de las Nieves Saint Kitts (1493-1628) *San Cristóbal Nevis (1493-1628) *Nieves Antigua and Barbuda Barbuda (1493-1628) *Santa Dulcina Antigua (1493-1632) *Santa María de la Antigua Redonda (1493-1632) *Santa María la Redonda Montserrat (UK) (1493-1632) *Santa María de Monstserrat Guadeloupe (Fr.) (1493-1631) *Santa Guadalupe Windward Islands: Dominica (1493-1635) *Domingo Martinique (Fr.) (1502-1635) *Martinino Saint Lucia (St. Lucia) (1502-1660) *Santa Lucía Barbados (1492-1620) *Los Barbados/El Barbudo St. Vincent and the Grenadines (1498-1627) *San Vicente Saint Vincent the Grenadines Grenada (1498-1650) *Concepción Carriacou & Petite Martinique (Grenada) Trinidad & Tobago (1498-1628) *Santísima e Asunción Aruba (Neth.) (1499-1648) *Aruba/Oroba Curaçao (Neth.) (1499-1634) *Curasao/Isla de los Gigantes Bonaire (Neth.) (1499-1635) * Bonaire/Buon Aire Viceroyalty of New Granada Los Roques Archipelago (Ven) La Orchila (Ven) La Tortuga (Ven) La Blanquilla (Ven) Margarita Island (Ven) Coche (Ven) Cubagua (Ven) Other islands (Ven) *Founded Spanish names


















[1] https://www.francetvinfo.fr/sante/environnement-et-sante/c-est-quoi-le-probleme-avec-les-sargasses-ces-algues-toxiques-qui-proliferent-dans-les-antilles_2962815.html
[2] https://www.martinique.ars.sante.fr/les-algues-sargasses-un-phenomene-sanitaire
[3] https://la1ere.francetvinfo.fr/guadeloupe/desirade/les-sargasses-perturbent-une-nouvelle-fois-la-desserte-maritime-entre-la-desirade-et-saint-francois-1276208.html

[4] https://www.mer.gouv.fr/direction-generale-des-affaires-maritimes-de-la-peche-et-de-laquaculture-dgampa#:~:text=La%20DGAMPA%20a%20pour%20mission,et%20de%20nos%20milieux%20marins
[5] https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/bioeconomy_en
[6] https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/projects-activities/jrc-biomass-mandate_en





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