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Conference Papers Year : 2019

Sargassum Weed to Feed

Translating Sargassum seaweed into value added product through Research and Development


Since 2011, there have been numerous reports of excessively large quantities of Sargassum seaweed accumulating along coastal areas and beaches of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Africa, creating devastating impact on the coastal ecosystem and local economies. Satellite data have shown that record-setting Sargassum blooms are to be expected. Large masses of Sargassum are already swamping beaches causing serious challenges for the tourism and fisheries industries. Apart from being unsightly, the decomposition of large masses of seaweed produces a foul sulfurous odor, attracts insects, entwine marine animals, interferes with tourist activities and obstructs boat engines and fishing equipment. Interventions to manage the large influx of Sargassum include mechanical collection with the use of cane and front-end loaders, as well as manual raking and piling of the seaweed along the shorelines. However, these have proven to be ineffective. The use of heavy equipment also poses serious threats to the stability of the coastline and existing marine life. As an alternative, the Scientific Research Council, Jamaica has embarked on research and development activities which seeks to evaluate Sargassum seaweed for its potential uses. The micro and macro nutrients content of Sargassum collected from various sites along Jamaica’s costal lines were evaluated. Preliminary analysis revealed crude protein of 3.89%, fat of 0.15 ± 0.01%, total carbohydrates of 62.59 ± 0.35% and fiber of 17.72 ± 0.24% for the dried Sargassum (Sargassum natans and fluitans) sample. The samples also contained significant amounts of essential minerals and trace elements such as; calcium (454,000 ± 1734 mg/kg), potassium (286,66.7 ± 1537 mg/kg), magnesium (9866.7 ± 642.9 mg/kg), sodium (8,933.3 ± 251.7 mg/kg), iron (267.7 ± 8.5 mg/kg), manganese (43.8 ± 0.5 mg/kg), zinc (5.51 ± 0.02 mg/kg), and selenium (0.27 ± 0.04 mg/kg). Heavy metal analysis also revealed elements such as mercury (0.0084 ± 0.0001 mg/kg), cobalt (1.53 ± 0.03 mg/kg), cadmium (˂ 2.41 mg/kg), chromium (1.53 ± 0.4 mg/kg), lead (˂ 3mg/kg), and arsenic (65.5 ±2.17 mg/kg), with all except arsenic being below acceptable levels. The aim of the studies is to utilize the Sargassum in a way that is environmentally friendly and economically viable.
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Dates and versions

hal-02580690 , version 1 (14-05-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02580690 , version 1


C.T. Watson, S.R. Foster, M.M. Randle, C.K. Riley. Sargassum Weed to Feed. Caribbean Science and Innovation Meeting 2019, Oct 2019, Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe), France. ⟨hal-02580690⟩


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