Sargassum is a species of brown algae. There are two species commonly found in the Caribbean, s. natans and s. fluitans (see image). It is free-floating seaweed and will not attach to the ocean floor; its movements depend solely on ocean currents. An essential habitat for over 250 species of fish and invertebrates, while it seems to create an annoyance, it is integral to marine life. They use it as nurseries, feeding grounds, and shelter. Sargassum can also be extremely important to particular endangered and migratory species like sea turtles and whales.
The Sargassum Resource Guide is a useful tool for assisting hotels and destinations with developing a local action plan to manage and minimize the impact of Sargassum in an environmentally sensitive manner. Sargassum is a natural occurrence that poses no known threat to beach goers. The resource guide also provides tips for educating hotel guests and residents about this natural phenomenon. Along with this report the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and its 32 member National Hotel and Tourism Associations seek to provide hotels, government officials and stakeholders the best practice information aimed at mitigating the negative effects of high levels of Sargassum seaweed reported at some local beaches. This resource guide was compiled by CAST in collaboration with strategic partner OBM International (OBMI).
Click here to download the Guide