[Coral-List] Sargassum fluitans proliferation in the Lesser Antilles

OMMM Association ommm at wanadoo.fr
Tue Aug 9 12:30:47 EDT 2011

Dear all

Since May, 2011, a huge amount of pelagic sargassum piles up along the 
coast of Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles, and might 
affect probably all the islands in the area.
Tons of algae enter the bays and cover the beaches. This accumulation of 
floating sargassum can also extends at the surface of the water for tens 
of meters in semi closed area, causing environmental problems to very 
coastal communities.

We have not seen any comments since this began in May. The algae still 
accumulates and cause management problems for local authorities. This is 
also the marine turtles' nesting period, what has an incidence on local 
decision to remove the algae accumulated on the beaches. Those algae 
decomposed and toxic gaz might be produced, as H2S, which is quite low 
from the measures that have been done at the moment (0-3 ppm).

Is there any information we could share on the origin of this 
proliferation of pelagic sargassum in the area?
Who else in the Lesser Antilles or elsewhere face the same problem?

We do airplane survey and fly over the coastal area to detect piles of 
sargassum away offshore looking at possible trajectories.

We are interested in any satellite images that could detect those saragssum.

Jean-Philippe Maréchal

Dr Jean-Philippe Maréchal, DSci
Observatoire du Milieu Marin Martiniquais
3 avenue Condorcet
97200 Fort de France
Tel : +33 (5) 96 39 42 16

GDRI "Coral Reef Biodiversity" - CNRS
Associate Director

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