Sargassum Influx Will Likely Be Severe Over The Next 3 Months


As forecast, most Eastern Caribbean islands have been seeing record amounts of sargassum in the first quarter of 2023, a period that is normally relatively free of the seaweed.

The level of sargassum arriving now is already severe and is not expected to let up in the coming weeks.

There is still twice as much (202% more) sargassum visible out in the Atlantic as seen this time last year.

There will be continue to be a marked difference between the islands of the Eastern Caribbean in the amount of sargassum they are likely to receive over the next 3 months.

Northern and Middle islands will see alot more sargassum than customary for these months, whilst Southern islands are expected to experience much less, although cloud cover in the current satellite image may be hiding some southern sargassum.

Northern islands will continue to receive very high volumes of sargassum, with only a short lull at the end of April before the summer sargassum season.

Middle islands are expected to receive fairly high volumes through mid April, experience a lull at the end of April and then high volumes going into summer, similar to last year.

Southern islands can expect sargassum towards the end of March, remain clear during April and start to see sargassum again in May, but less than last year.

Influxes of sargassum will be heavier than normal for the remainder of this tourist season in the Northern and Middle islands, whilst Southern islands will enjoy clear beaches through April.

Visitors should be advised, however, that despite high volumes of predicted sargassum, leeward (west coast beaches) generally remain sargassum-free.

The pelagic fishery will continue to be disrupted in the northern and middle islands by large rafts of sargassum at sea.

Flyingfish will remain problematic to catch.

Fishers should be careful when navigating, especially at night to avoid problems associated with driving through thick sargassum.

Nearshore mooring sites and landing beaches on eastward facing coastlines will likely become inundated with sargassum.

Fisherfolk in the Southern islands should be largely unaffected until May.

Heavy inundation of windward beaches by sargassum in the Northern and Middle islands could spell trouble for nesting leatherback turtles.

Brown tide events as the sargassum decays will cause damage to critical habitats (coral reefs and seagrasses).

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  1. In Mexico they’re turning them into notebooks, shoe soles and bricks for building houses. When life hands you Sargassum…

  2. I went to Long Bay last year.The Shoreline and water were filled with that seaweed.They had a front end loader and trucks trying to clean it up.It smelled up the entire areas.Then I took a drive up to Devil’s Bridge.I looked across the waters and watched the brown colored mess coming across the Atlantic.

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