Exposure to emissions from Sargassum seaweed washed up on the shore: ANSES reiterates its recommendations and adds to them

2018 Martinique Sargasses récoltées par l'armée Française
2018 Martinique Sargassum collected by the French Army

In 2015 ANSES was asked to conduct an expert assessment on gaseous fumes emitted by decaying Sargassum seaweed. In March 2016, the Agency recommended implementing measures to protect the general public and workers in charge of collecting, transporting and processing Sargassum seaweed, from exposure to the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) produced during its decay. An update of this assessment, including a revision of the toxicological profile of H2S and a summary of the ecology, accumulation, chemistry and decomposition of Sargassum seaweed, led the Agency to additionally recommend the immediate implementation of measures to prevent the risk of exposure to the heavy metals found in seaweed – arsenic and cadmium in particular – which could be hazardous to human health and to the environment.

Puerto Morelos Mexico 2022
Sargazo Puerto Morelos Mexico 2022

Since August 2014, coastal regions of the Caribbean and French Guiana have experienced successive waves of accumulated Sargassum seaweed on their coasts. Despite clean-up efforts, the seaweed continues to decompose on the shore. This decomposition produces hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas, which can sometimes be detected in high concentrations. Reports by physicians in conjunction with health effects perceived by people exposed to H2S, as well as complaints from the general public regarding unpleasant odours, have increased sharply.

The Ministries of health, the environment and labour therefore asked ANSES to conduct an expert assessment of the gases produced by decaying Sargassum seaweed and emitted into the ambient air in the Caribbean and in French Guiana. An opinion published in March 2016 presented the initial findings and recommendations of the Agency. It emphasised the necessity of collecting the seaweed without delay and recommended that measures be taken to protect the workers in charge of collecting, transporting and processing the seaweed. It also recommended that the local population be informed that the seaweed should not be handled.

The Agency pursued its work by examining the ecology of Sargassum seaweed, as well as its chemistry, biodegradation profile and the kinetics of H2S emissions and that of other substances, especially during decay of the seaweed following its accumulation on the shore.

Sea-turtle died in sargassum
Sea-turtle died in sargassum

The Agency’s recommendations

The conclusions of the expert assessment published today have led the Agency to reiterate the recommendations to be implemented regarding preventive measures for the health risks of exposure to H2S:

limit exposure by the general public, by regularly collecting the seaweed accumulated on the coast, by marking off collection sites, and by informing the population of the health risks of exposure to H2S;
limit worker exposure through use of H2S detectors, mechanical means of collection whenever possible, personal protective equipment, training and informing workers about the risks of exposure to H2S and implementing a traceability system for work that exposes workers.

2015 Cancun, Mexico (@Notimex)

In addition, the expert assessment published today reveals that Sargassum seaweed has a high capacity for accumulating heavy metals – arsenic and cadmium in particular – which may pose a risk to human health and to the environment. Therefore, the Agency recommends prohibiting any possible food or feed uses of this seaweed until more in-depth studies can be conducted on the heavy metal contamination of seaweed.

@Noticiario Barahona Republica Dominicana 2015

The Agency also recommends pursuing research on:

  • exposure linked to accumulated Sargassum seaweed and effects on human health;
  • the toxicity of H2S, in particular the effects of chronic exposure to low doses of H2S;
  • the indirect environmental and health impact of accumulated Sargassum seaweed (seaweed composition, presence of heavy metals);
  • the proliferation of seaweed and its accumulation on dry land in the French départements in the Americas.
2022 Mayaro Trinidad sargassum

To read : 2019 Cancun hotel creates exotic cocktail with a side of Sargasso

 

Download PDF from ANSES 2017 : See ANSES’s amended OPINION and REPORT on gaseous fumes emitted by decaying Sargassum seaweed in the Caribbean and in French Guiana (in French)

 

Playa del Carmen Prisoners Can Reduce Jail Time By Cleaning Seaweed Off Beaches For Tourists

There’s a pretty good chance that Cancun beaches in general will be filled with massive amounts of seaweed in the coming weeks. As reports indicate that large amounts of the foul smelling seaweed known as sargassum are slowly, but steadily making their way towards the shore. In Playa del Carmen authorities are trying to come up with creative ways to build up enough manpower to clean the local beaches. One of these solutions that they’ve come up with involves giving minor infractors the possibility of picking up sargassum as a form of community service. Doing so in an effort to avoid jail time.

The initiative that is allowing people to avoid jail time contemplates will only apply to those who have committed “administrative infractions”. These administrative infractions are things like urinating in public, littering and consuming alcoholic beverages, on public roads. To put it simply, pretty much all of the minor infractions that tend to land rowdy tourists in the slammer, will now be payable through this form of community service.

It’ll ultimately be up to the judge whether a particular infraction can be paid in this manner. Local judges approved of this form of punishment in recent weeks. It was actually the Zomefat (the organization responsible for cleaning the beaches) that proposed this idea to Playa del Carmen judges. The director of the Zomefat institute, Lourdes Vargues Ocampo, had this to say about the initiative.

“We talked to the civic judges a week ago to propose this initiative of having people do community service instead of having to pay other types of fines. The decision to approve the initiative was made unilaterally. Many judges showed a keen interest in this idea.”

This Type of Community Service Eliminates Potential Fines or Jail Time
The director of Zomefat would go on to clarify that as things stand right now folks who opt to provide this community service will not be charged extra fines, or have to spend time behind bars to further pay their debt to society. The judges have the power to assign a specific amount of community service hours to infractors. Which they must complete in order to be properly released. There have already been quite a few people that have chosen this route. Lourdes Vargues made those numbers public saying,

“Sunday we had 15 people, (doing community service), Monday there were 11, and Tuesday there were 7. In doing this type of work they are able to meet the sanctions that the judges impose on them. This is not a form of forced labor. These people are not criminals, they are just folks who commited minor infractions.”

There Are Other Ways To Join A Brigade To Clean Up The Beaches
You don’t necessarily have to commit a crime to be on a brigade responsible for cleaning up beaches. In fact, infractors who are part of these brigades are the ones wearing the bright orange vests. To distinguish themselves as community service workers. While the rest of the folks also picking up Sargassum may very well be getting paid for the job that they’re doing.

The Zomefat organization seems to be incredibly understaffed. So much so that they are offering a 9,000 MXN ( around 450 dollars) monthly salary to anyone willing to work cleaning up Playa del Carmen beaches alongside minor infractors. That may not seem like much to a lot of people. To put things into context though, the average salary that a Mexican worker makes is around 7,000 MXN per month. With a slight increase over the average salary, and the addition of community service workers Zomefat is hoping to create at least another 50-person team to clean up Playa del Carmen beaches.

Source: The Cancun Sun April 2022

Cenotes reciben “daño colateral” por arribazón de sargazo

Cenotes reciben "daño colateral" por arribazón de sargazo
Cenotes reciben « daño colateral » por arribazón de sargazo

Según datos presentados por un especialista en Planeación Turística Sustentable, los cenotes del municipio de Puerto Morelos, donde se ubica la denominada “Ruta de los cenotes”, estarían recibiendo un importante “daño colateral” ante la arribazón de sargazo a las playas del destino.

Diego Armando Casas Beltrán, catedrático de una maestría relacionada con el tema en la Universidad del Caribe (UniCaribe), explicó como es que la macro alga ha afectado a los cenotes, a través de una investigación realizada en el Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán (CICY).

Te Puede Interesar: Han recalado 18 mil 905 toneladas de sargazo a Quintana Roo

El informe de Casas Beltrán tiene lugar a unos días del inicio de las vacaciones de Semana Santa, y ante la amenaza del arribo masivo de sargazo a las costas de la entidad, que ya dejado sentir la magnitud del daño, según las autoridades han recalado casi 19 mil toneladas de esta alga.

Por medio del detallado estudio efectuado por el investigador, éste demostró que la afectación por esta alga marina ha impactado de forma indirecta a los cenotes de Puerto Morelos, los cuales han recibido la carga de los bañistas que han dejado de ir a las playas.

Cenote Riviera Maya

En su conferencia denominada “El arribo de sargazo en Puerto Morelos y sus impactos sobre la actividad turística en la ruta de los cenotes”, el investigador señala que un 59 por ciento de los residentes de ese municipio ha dejado de ir a la playas durante los meses de arribo de sargazo, principalmente por los malos olores que desprende su descomposición y por las picaduras de pulgas marinas que se alojan en la algas.

La investigación de Casas Beltrán, señala que de esos bañistas que dejaron de visitar las playas, un 56 por ciento optó por visitar cenotes, 46 por ciento zonas arqueológicas y 42 por ciento parques temáticos, y ante este incremento de la ocupación de bañistas en los cenotes, se ha registrado un cambio en la química del agua, registrando incrementos en los niveles de nitrito y nitrato.

No obstante, el profesor aclaró que lo anterior no significa que haya contaminación en los cenotes, pero sí se demuestra que el desplazamiento de bañistas de las playas está impactando indirectamente a estos cuerpos de agua.

Y no solo los cenotes han resultado dañados, pues el catedrático de la Maestría en Planeación Turística Sustentable señaló que el arribo de sargazo también ha impactado al relleno sanitario, toda vez que 4 mil 400 toneladas de algas fueron trasladadas a éste, reduciendo su vida útil; sin contar que es un residuo cargado de sales y metales pesados, que se filtran al subsuelo y contaminan el manto freático.

El investigador señaló que, aun cuando el gobierno de Quintana Roo invirtió en 2019 más de 3.2 millones de pesos en la contratación de 4 mil 400 trabajadores para retirar el sargazo, ese año sólo se atendieron las playas de Isla Mujeres, Cancún, Cozumel, Solidaridad Puerto Morelos y Tulum; mientras que el 90 por ciento de la costa quintanarroense no fue atendida.

Source: TN Turquesa News Abril 2022

Can you eat Sargassum?

𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗦𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗮𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗺?
𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗦𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗮𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗺?

Since this weed yearly hits almost all the coasts in the region many have been looking for ways to use it. For instance as animal fodder, compost or biogas/fuel. Unfortunately sargassum contains accumulated arsenic substances and other nasty stuff. It is also very salty. On Bonaire we experimented with sargassum compost to grow tomatoes, spinach and warmoes. Sadly the plants took up the toxins and were thus not suitable for consumption. Research continues on Bonaire and in the region. For now the highest priority is to keep sargassum from damaging the most vulnerable parts of the island.

Also, do not try this at home. This maniac did not really eat it 🙂

Source: Mangrove Maniacs – Bonaire Lac restoration project – 21/03/2022

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Mexico : Seaweed Season Begins As Sargassum Washes Up On Beaches In Playa del Carmen And Tulum

First Major Deposit Is A Concern For Tourists And Businesses

The first major deposit of sargassum arrived in Playa del Carmen and several other popular tourist spots including Tulum on Friday night. It’s estimated that around eighty tonnes of the unpleasant seaweed were left on the beaches.

Sargassum algae covers the popular vacation beach of Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, 21 of August 2018
Sargassum algae covers the popular vacation beach of Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, 21 of August 2018

Tourists and hoteliers woke on Saturday morning to the unpleasant sight of masses of sargassum on the beaches of Playa del Carmen. Several of the most popular resort’s beach areas were heavily affected, prompting staff in the establishments to jump to work on removing it. Puerto Aventuras also received significant deposits of seaweed.

The timing is rough for Playa del Carmen. The placement of sargassum barriers to protect its beaches was delayed last week after poor weather prevented the Navy from getting to work. The barrier was due to be placed this week instead, but not soon enough to prevent the masses of brown from covering the shoreline.

Riviera Maya, Mexico - July 27, 2018. Mexican male worker shows a wheel barrow full of problem Sargassum seaweed as he cleans up a beach on the caribbean coast in Mexico.
Riviera Maya, Mexico – July 27, 2018. Mexican male worker shows a wheel barrow full of problem Sargassum seaweed as he cleans up a beach on the caribbean coast in Mexico.

The removal process is not easy once it’s on the beach. The workers have to be careful not to cause beach erosion with their methods. In this case, they pulled the majority of the sargassum to the streets near the beach and collected it there, preventing any damage to the beach. It’s not easy work, but the presence of sargassum greatly impacts the business of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.

Patches of Sargassum seaweed on a Tulum beach in Mexico
Tulum, Mexico – 7 August 2018: Two men are cleaning Sargassum seaweed from the beach.

Sargassum isn’t typical seaweed. It forms miles out to sea in huge floating island-like structures. At sea, it’s massive beneficial. It creates its own ecosystem where thousands of small sea creatures are able to live, as well as providing nutrients for the water in the surrounding area.

The problem with sargassum arrives as it approaches the coastline. These tangles of weed can be kilometers long, formed by tens of thousands of individual weeds intertwined. When they reach the shoreline, they float in the shallows before being left on the beach. When floating in the shallows, they pose a safety threat for young or inexperienced swimmers who have been known to get caught in it. Small fish and other animals can also still be living in the tangle.

Tulum, Mexico - 12 August 2018: workers are removing Sargassum seaweed from the beach at Playa Paraiso with a Barber Surf Rake Beach Cleaner.
Tulum, Mexico – 12 August 2018: workers are removing Sargassum seaweed from the beach at Playa Paraiso with a Barber Surf Rake Beach Cleaner.

Its biggest downside is when it washes up, however. It produces a sulfur-like smell making it extremely unpleasant for any beachgoers nearby and typically leads to many avoiding the beach completely. On a purely aesthetic level, it is detrimental to the atmosphere of the region. The biggest draw of the Mexican Caribbean is the pristine beaches and crystal blue water. The presence of a giant knot of seaweed Changs the water’s color and the white sands are covered and smelly.

Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - 19 December 2018: Workers cleaning sargassum algae on tropical shore. Caribbean ecology problem
Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – 19 December 2018: Workers cleaning sargassum algae on tropical shore. Caribbean ecology problem

The local government spends incredible amounts of money fighting the sargassum. The problem has grown over the past decade as water temperatures increase globally. Global warming will continue to exacerbate the arrival of the seaweed which thrives in warm waters.

Tulum, Mexico - 12 August 2018: workers are cleaning Sargassum seaweed from the beach.
Tulum, Mexico – 12 August 2018: workers are cleaning Sargassum seaweed from the beach.

Barriers are placed at strategic points around the area, and the Navy even collects masses of sargassum at sea before it gets a chance to approach the shore. Several new tactics have been implemented, including the use of drones to oversee the movement of clumps. A hot air balloon company in Miami has even been hired to help with the surveillance effort. Most hotels even have their own designated staff who collect the seaweed that makes it to the beach.

Sargassum algae covers the popular vacation beach of Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, 21 of August 2018
Sargassum algae covers the popular vacation beach of Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, 21 of August 2018

Tourists visiting the region over the next few weeks should check in with their hotels to find out the sargassum situation at that specific location. With as many as 3 million visitors passing through the region over the Easter period, expect hotels and all organizations involved with sargassum prevention to be working at full capacity to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Source: The Cancun Sun – 21/03/2022

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Trinidad & Tobago : Moderate To Severe Surges of Sargassum To Stay North Of T&T Through May 2022

Thick mats of Sargassum on the beaches of Mayaro on Saturday, February 12th, 2022.
Thick mats of Sargassum on the beaches of Mayaro on Saturday, February 12th, 2022.

Islands north of Trinidad and Tobago and the Southern Windwards are being advised to brace for moderate to severe surges of Sargassum over the next coming months. This is according to the latest Sargassum Sub-Regional Outlook Bulletin published by the UWI Centre for Resource Management and Environment Studies (CERMES), Cave Hill, Barbados.

Through the first quarter of 2022, the Eastern Caribbean experienced moderate to severe influxes of Sargassum, which is forecast to continue through the next several weeks but mainly north of the Southern Windwards. The report noted that the level of Sargassum is expected to remain at moderate to severe levels through March and into April.

There have been 63% less seaweed visible in the Atlantic than last year, as of March 2022, and well below 2018 levels, which were the worst recorded to date.

At least through May 2022, islands across the Eastern Caribbean are set to receive moderate to severe Sargassum influxes, particularly for the Lesser Antilles’ central islands. The surge in seaweed mats has subsided for Trinidad and Tobago, at least until late May.

The prediction graph below illustrates a comparison of 3+ month forecasts using a relative index of Sargassum from processed satellite images by SaWS (USF/MODIS+) and SAMtool (CLS/Sentinel+). Close overlap of the two lines on any one graph indicates that the predictions are similar between the two datasets. (CERMES)
The prediction graph below illustrates a comparison of 3+ month forecasts using a relative index of Sargassum from processed satellite images by SaWS (USF/MODIS+) and SAMtool (CLS/Sentinel+). Close overlap of the two lines on any one graph indicates that the predictions are similar between the two datasets. (CERMES)

The outlook notes

  • Northern Islands (Dominica northward): Mild influxes from now until late April when levels are expected to increase to moderate levels.
  • Central Islands (St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Martinique, including Barbados): Moderate to severe influxes over the next three months, with spikes expected at the end of March and early May.
  • Southern Islands (Grenada and the Grenadines to T&T): Mild to moderate influxes with peaks expected in mid-March and the end of May, with mild levels in between.
    Tourists and tourism business operators have experienced moderate to severe influxes in the past few weeks. The report noted that the sector could expect beaches and bathing areas to be periodically inundated with high quantities of Sargassum in the coming weeks, especially in the middle islands.

Fisherfolk have reported low catches of flyingfish in the past three months, and according to the report, they should expect some disruption at windward landing sites. Beach and shore-side markets in the middle islands will likely require clean-up efforts.

Given the current forecast for the middle islands, consumers can expect continued availability of almaco jacks (amber fish) in the coming months. Beached Sargassum may provide a challenge for leatherback turtles laying eggs during their March to May nesting season.

Sargassum inundation risk as of March 14th, 2022, classifying the risk into three categories: low (blue), medium (orange), and high (red). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of South Florida (USF)
Sargassum inundation risk as of March 14th, 2022, classifying the risk into three categories: low (blue), medium (orange), and high (red). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of South Florida (USF)

As of March 14th, 2022, a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of South Florida (USF) shows varying levels of risk for Sargassum landings across the Lesser Antilles. There is the lowest risk for Trinidad, Tobago, and Barbados, joining much of the Leeward Islands. However, Grenada to Guadeloupe has a moderate to high risk of Sargassum inundating coastlines.

Source: T&T Weather Center 03/17/2022

 

 

MEXICO – RIVIERA MAYA : FALLA BARRERA: Arribo masivo de sargazo a playas de Mahahual

Tras un “pequeño” fallo en la colocación de la barrera, toneladas de sargazo recalaron en la zona norte del malecón de Mahahual. (Foto: Especial)
Tras un “pequeño” fallo en la colocación de la barrera, toneladas de sargazo recalaron en la zona norte del malecón de Mahahual. (Foto: Especial)

CHETUMAL.- El puerto de Mahahual reporto el arribo de varias toneladas de sargazo que están afectando la zona de playa y la actividad económica de los negocios de esa zona.

La Secretaría de Marina Armada de México (Semar) instaló ahí una barrera de 1.2 kilómetros en un intento por frenar el recale del alga, pero un “pequeño” fallo en su colocación ha ocasionado que el sargazo se aglomere en la zona norte del malecón que es el paso obligado de los pobladores y de los turistas.

Angela María López, dedicada al sector de restaurantes señaló que “La Marina colocÓ unas barreras, pero dejaron una zona fuera de protección y hoy nos llegó el sargazo de todo Mahahual a esta área”.

La empresaria indicó que desde hace meses se le indicó a la Marina que la barrera anti sargazo no cumpliría su función debido a que estaría colocada fuera de la zona turística de Mahahual.

“Se hicieron comentarios de que la barrera estaba mal porque sabíamos que el sargazo iba a recalar en esta zona, nosotros tenemos años viviendo aquí y sabemos cómo está la situación del sargazo y no es lo mismo gente que no está aquí y que no vive este problema”.

Angela María López, precisó que los trabajadores de los negocios afectados están realizando labores de limpieza en la zona afectada por el sargazo, pero apuntó que es un trabajo duro de enfrentar pues en promedio se retiran entre 200 y 300 carretillas al día.

“Yo sé que la Marina hace su trabajo, pero también debe de escuchar las opiniones porque nos está afectando”.

La empresaria comentó que hasta ahora ninguna autoridad se ha unido a las labores de la limpieza y se ha dejado solos a los empresarios.

Un dato importante es que la Red de Monitoreo de Sargazo de Quintana Roo, advirtió que este 2022 podría ser un año de mucho arribazón, pues desde el mes de enero se registraron pequeñas manchas de sargazo lo cual no ocurría en años anteriores.

Por lo general el sargazo comienza a llegar en abril y marzo, y desde octubre comienza a no haber, como sucedió el año pasado en que en noviembre prácticamente no había nada y así se mantuvo hasta el 15 de diciembre.

Cabe recordar que el año pasado, la Secretaría de Marina recolectó 44 mil 913 toneladas de esta alga en las principales costas de Quintana Roo.

Source: Alejandro Peza/NOTICARIBE PENINSULAR 18/03/2022

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Belize, Sargassum returns to the beaches

As tourism continues in Belize, the first waves of Sargassum are starting to beach along the Belizean Caribbean coastline and cayes. According to the National Meteorological Service, the latest observations projected from March 9th to the 22nd show an increase in the brown algae near Belize. The forecast indicates the possibility of a medium to high chance of more Sargassum polluting the beaches.

The places in Belize where high concentrations of seaweed are expected include Hopkins and Placencia in southern Beliz, with Caye Caulker and San Pedro Town expecting less. The windy days associated with March are piling up Sargassum along the island’s eastern shore. Hoteliers and residents have started to keep their areas free of the algae, which releases a foul smell as it rots on the beach.

sargassum Belize
Sargassum – Belize –

Mayor Gualberto’ Wally’ Nuñez said the San Pedro Town Council might spend around $20,000 every year to rid the beaches of seaweed. “It is becoming a problem again,” said Nuñez. “At the moment, we are partnering with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) to mitigate the problem. We are also in the process of getting a beach rake like those used in Caye Caulker, which has proven good results.” Nuñez said with assistance from the BTB, they expect to get the beach rake as soon as possible.

sargassum Belize
sargassum Belize

In the past, hotels have created task forces comprised of dozens of islanders to battle the constant mats of seaweed washing ashore. The task is a different challenge every year, and this year is no exception. Information from the Optical Oceanography Laboratory of the University of South Florida indicates that Sargassum in the Caribbean Sea has increased by more than 100% since December 2021. Its current biomass is estimated to be from 1.7 to four million tons. Compared to previous years, this suggests that 2022 could be a year of high Sargassum concentration. If conditions for its growth continue to be favorable, it can double its biomass in less than 20 days.

sargassum return to Belize 2022
sargassum return to Belize 2022

Sargassum reaches the Caribbean from the Sargasso Sea in the Bermuda Triangle of the North Atlantic Ocean and a new area north of the equator. This area by the equator accumulates off the Brazilian coast before entering the Caribbean Sea. According to researchers, the presence of Sargassum on beaches indicates pollution triggered by human activities in the seas and coasts. The rapid growth of the algae is stimulated by irregular and inadequate treatment of sewage water and agricultural runoff rich with fertilizer. The influx of this marine plant will continue moving west of the Caribbean region, affecting countries like Belize, the Mexican Quintana Roo coast, the Gulf of Mexico, and areas like Florida in the United States of America.

Source: San Pedro Sun 03/12/2022

La présentation des nouveaux moyens pour lutter contre les sargasses perturbée

sargasses Martinique sargassum sargazo
Les échouages de sargasses se multiplient à Sainte-Marie devant le Tombolo • ©Xavier Chevalier

Une enveloppe de plus de 1,5 million a permis d’acheter du matériel pour lutter contre les algues sargasses. Ces nouveaux outils permettront de ramasser les algues plus rapidement dans les communes de Cap Nord. La présentation a été perturbée par des militants de l’intersyndicale santé qui ont apostrophé et insulté les autorités.

Cela devait être une matinée sans heurts. Nicolas Onimus, sous préfet de Saint-Pierre et Trinité, Bruno Nestor Azerot, président de Cap Nord, maire de Sainte-Marie, et Frédéric Buval, maire de Trinité, étaient réunis mercredi 16 mars 2022 à Trinité en fin de matinée, pour présenter les nouveaux engins pour lutter contre les algues sargasses.

sargasses Martinique sargassum sargazo
De gauche à droite : Félix Mérine (CTM), représentant de la DEAL, Nicolas Onimus (sous-prfet de Saint-Pierre et Trinité), Frédéric Buval (maire de Trinité) et Bruno Nestor Azerot (président de Cap Nord et maire de Sainte-Marie). • ©Xavier Chevalier

Mais alors qu’ils se dirigeaient vers la mer, dans le bourg trinitéen, une quinzaine de militants de l’intersyndicale de la santé les ont pris à parti. Les élus et le représentant du préfet se sont réfugiés à l’intérieur de la mairie après avoir été notamment traité de « voleurs » ou d’assassins ».

La présentation s’est tout de même poursuivie alors qu’à l’extérieur, les militants se faisaient entendre par mégaphone.

À l’issue de la réunion les deux maires et le sous-préfet envisageaient de porter plainte.

Camions, tractopelles, pelles hydrauliques… seulement pour Cap Nord

Une enveloppe de 1 million 571 milles 750 euros a été allouée à Cap Nord pour lutter contre les échouages de sargasses sur la côte atlantique de Martinique.

Cette somme, financée à 40% par l’Europe, 50% par l’état et le reste par Cap Nord, servira à acheter des camions bennes, des camions avec des bras hydrauliques, des véhicules légers et bien d’autres outils nécessaires.

sargasses Martinique Sargassum Sargazo
La liste des nouveaux engins pour lutter contre les algues sargasses • ©Cap Nord

Les municipalités du Marigot, du Robert, de Trinité et de Sainte-Marie, devront réserver via internet, les nouveaux équipements et pourront les utiliser pendant 48 heures d’affilées.

« Une solution mais pas la solution »

Bruno Nestor Azerot, président de Cap Nord, maire de Sainte-Marie et Frédéric Buval, l’édile de Trinite saluent cette initiative. Ils espèrent que les sargasses échouées seront vite ramassées.

Ainsi, les jeunes qui sont chargés de les récupérer sur les plages souffriront moins de problèmes de santé, tout comme les riverains.

Les produits électroménagers souffriront moins et ne s’useront pas prématurément.

Si ces nouveaux moyens aideront à lutter efficacement contre les sargasses, les deux élus regrettent qu’aucun moyen de les retenir en pleine mer puis de les évacuer n’ait été trouvé. Car selon eux, c’est la seule solution viable.

sargasses Martinique sargassum sargazo
Des sargasses sur le sable à Sainte-Marie • ©Xavier Chevalier

 

Source : Martinique La 1ere du 17/03/2022

Une étude confirme que la décomposition des algues sargasses endommage gravement les biens des personnes

Sur le front de mer du Marigot. • ©Christine Cupit

Une étude menée par les chercheurs universitaires confirment les déclarations d’habitants affectés par les échouages de sargasses. Les gaz émis par ces algues en décomposition sont responsables de la dégradation des appareils métalliques, électroniques ou les matières plastiques.

La hausse des températures de la mer favorise la prolifération des sargasses et l’augmentation des échouages sur nos côtes.

Depuis le début du phénomène, les Martiniquais qui vivent dans des zones côtières signalent la corrosion étonnante des appareils électroniques et des objets métalliques.

Pour eux, cette corrosion s’est amplifiée quand les bancs de sargasses pourrissent sur les côtes, dégageant des odeurs nauséabondes.

Aujourd’hui la science est de leur côté. Le compte rendu d’un projet de recherche appelé CORSAIR est sans appel.

Algues sargasses au Diamant Martinique
Algues sargasses au Diamant (16 avril 2021). • ©Martinique la 1ère

Démarré en 2021, ce projet a été financé par l’Agence Nationale de la Recherche et la Collectivité Territoriale de la Martinique.

Argument pour les demandes d’indemnisation

Les chercheurs universitaires ont examiné le lien entre les gaz émis par les algues en décomposition et la corrosion rapide de matériaux métalliques et des appareils électroniques.

Les capteurs de Madininair, mis en place dans 3 sites, ont mesuré des fortes concentrations d’hydrogène sulfuré et de l’ammoniac dégagées lors de la biodégradation des sargasses.

Ces gaz accélèrent la corrosion des métaux, des appareils électroniques et même le plastique.

Cette preuve scientifique devrait être un argument précieux dans la constitution des demandes d’indemnisation.

Article du 11/03/2022 Source : Martinique La 1ere