Caribbean Sargassum

Since 2011, the entire Caribbean has been impacted on economic, environmental and health levels, by the massive events of Sargassum, a pelagic brown algae.

Off the coast of Bermuda, the original Sargassum Sea- a protected area since 2014, no longer seems to be the only “Sargassum factory”. The phenomenon has spread all around the Atlantic Ocean.

The Congo River in Africa and the Amazon River in South America carry nutrients from activities such as mining and intensive agriculture. These nutrients, carried by ocean currents, could potentially contribute to the proliferation of Sargassum.

Videos

Produced by Beau Comme les Antilles, two documentary films explore solutions to manage and add value to Sargassum in the Caribbean, meeting with brilliant proactive minds facing this Sargassum issue directly.

13 short modules from these two documentary films provide a more complete look at all the aspects encompassed by the Sargassum issue, like the valuation of the algae, the protection of sea turtles, retention and remote sensing- from Martinique to Brazil via the Dominican Republic.

Thematic sheets

The Sargassum problem is not only about the proliferation of the algae and its management upon its arrival on the Caribbean coast. Groundings highlight major public health hazards throughout the region, environmental protection and economic preservation issues.
These diverse topics are covered in a series of 12 information sheets.

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Sheet 1: The origin of Sargassum Algae

What is Sargassum seaweed? Since when does it exist? In 2018, around 20 million tonnes of Sargassum were spotted between the African and American continents. We are now speaking of a vegetal continent visible from space.

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The territories

Sargassum events affect a majority of the Caribbean, including Brazil, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Saint Barthelemy. Fortunately, proactive individuals in these areas are tackling the Sargassum problem head-on in order to minimize its impact on their territories.

The documents

Each year, a multitude of documents related to Sargassum are published, which showcase the actions and studies carried out locally and throughout the Caribbean.

Comics

“Sargassum: Story(s) of a Brown Tide” was written in the style of a role-playing game. It invites researchers to come out of their laboratories to meet citizens, illustrators to return to the benches of the university to question the research, screenwriters to immerse themselves in the reality of fieldwork. Led by the Alliance Française of Santo Domingo, the creation of this Caribbean and international documentary comic strip is intended to become a space for discussion and reflection on the environmental issue of Sargassum.