(FP)

Government has invested just over $400,000 in equipment to battle the sargassum seaweed.

Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, said Government purchased a seaweed harvester for just under $200,000 along with a conveyor and tractor pusher for just over $200,000.

He described the seaweed harvester as a very big boat that would allow persons to clean the algae straight off the water.

He added that the conveyor belt would be used to pick up the seaweed and transfer it straight to shore, while the tractor would be modified to pull it off the sand.

“To be able to capture the seaweed when it is still fresh and be able to be reused into something else ….  It is really going to be a game changer,” the Minister said, noting that the investment would be worthwhile in the long run.

He added that once successful, Government would seek to acquire additional equipment to move the seaweed off the ocean.

Mr. Humphrey attributed the rapid growth of the sargassum seaweed to the nutrients in the water, runoff in larger countries, rising acidity levels in the water and rising sea temperatures.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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