Antigua and Barbuda is expected to receive moderate to severe influxes of the sargassum seaweed in the coming weeks, as it did during the first quarter of 2022.
The MET Office reports that the level of sargassum arriving now is about the same. However, compared to this time last year, there is 63% less of the seaweed visible in the Atlantic. This is well below 2018 levels, the worst year to date, the Office notes.
Cabinet Notes say the Executive recently held a virtual discussion with a non-profit company that is offering to harvest sargassum before it reaches the local beaches. The company is expected to turn the seaweed into several useful products.
A prior Cabinet Note indicated that “the firm will rely upon the hotel sector, worst-affected by the sargassum, to fund the exercise equitably.”
Reports say the Administration can access funds made available by the Government of Japan, and this will be more than sufficient to supplement any shortfall the non-profit company may encounter.