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Barbados struggling to clear seaweed piles from beaches

Published:Tuesday | May 5, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Barbados is struggling to deal with large amounts of foul-smelling, brown seaweed piling up on beaches, officials on the tourism-dependent Caribbean island said yesterday.

Sargassum seaweed washes up every year along many coastlines in the region, but some officials in Barbados say this is the largest amount they have ever seen.

The island organised a national clean-up effort over the weekend to help clear the seaweed that is affecting some two dozen beaches.

"This year, the volume has increased to such an extent that it is challenging for all of the agencies combined to deal with it. We all need more resources," said Ryan Als, technical officer responsible for beaches and park management.

Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association CEO Sue Springer described this year's seaweed pileup as "exceptionally bad". She said bookings had not dropped so far, but some beach-loving tourists were unhappy.