Jamaica to Join With MIT to Research Sargassum Seaweed

Sargassum in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Sargassum in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic // Photo by sborisov/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

To understand the potential threat of sargassum to Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, the recently established Global Tourism and Crisis Management Centre will collaborate with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to conduct research on sargassum, a type of brown seaweed.

Minister Bartlett made the announcement at the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association’s 58th Annual General Meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Montego Bay. “The issue of managing sargassum has become more urgent since large quantities of different species of the algae accumulated along the shores of many of the countries on the Caribbean Sea in 2015,” he said.

Numerous species of seaweed are scattered in shallow water and coral reefs throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. Masses of brown seaweed, although harmless, have the potential to disrupt tourism in the Caribbean. Travel Agent recently visited Barbados and saw firsthand the scope of the problem. Heaps of the seaweed saturated the beach and created a bit of an eyesore.

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The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, which will open its doors in October at the University of the West Indies, Mona, will research and monitor, plan for, forecast, mitigate, and manage risks relevant to tourism resilience and crisis management. This will be achieved through a series of objectives:

  • Research and Development
  • Advocacy and Communication
  • Program/Project Design and Management
  • Training and Capacity Building

For more information, visit https://www.mot.gov.jm

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