Vacation Rentals by the Sea We are local - here for you every day!

Sargassum Seaweed Invasion at Silver Sands Jamaica, December 2014
by Prem Chadeesingh


Early in the morning on 10 December 2014, floating out at sea at Silver Sands Jamaica, were great brown patches of matter bobbing up and down in the rolling waves. By the time the rosy sunlit sky gave way to a sunny day, masses of seaweed had landed on the beach. By mid-morning, the West Beach was completely covered, and by midday, it started washing up on the swimming beach. However, close inspection of this seaweed revealed it was not the usual kind that washed up at Silver Sands, but a rich brown variety called Sargassum.


sargassum washed up on the beach at silver sands jamaica
The West Beach at Silver Sands as the Sargassum washed up onshore.


NEPA, the National Environmental and Planning Agency of Jamaica, reported that this Sargassum, a type of open ocean algae, was not only being deposited on the beaches of our island but all over the Caribbean and Florida in the United States.


Mushtaq, local fisherman, with the sargassum
Mushtaq, fisherman and snorkeling guide, takes a cloer look at the Sargassum seaweed.


NEPA advised that the seaweed does not pose a threat to human health or the environment and that this Sargassum invasion was a result of recent occurrences and is a natural result of current climatic conditions.


While those wishing to relax and play on the beach may find the Sargassum a hindrance, some people cultivate it and use it as an herbal remedy. Seaweed Sargassum Tea is made from it, dried and powdered, and dissolved in warm water.


There is no way that the usual beach cleaning techniques used at Silver Sands can cope with this Sargassum invasion and so guests are advised not to worry about this, but to get on with enjoying their precious time in Jamaica. The staff will do their best, but wave action will eventually take away whatever the cleaners are unable to remove.


beach cleaner at silver sands jamaica
Cleaning and cleaning and cleaning the Silver Sands Beach.


jenny in the sargassum seaweed
Jenny, taking a close look at the Sargassum.


In several countries, like Barbados, which has been more severely affected, heavy equipments, like bulldozers, have been introduced to make the clean up quicker. But NEPA is warning that beach cleaners must be very careful, when removing the seaweed, not to remove sand as well from beaches as this is harmful to the environment and illegal.

Silver Sands Villas Jamaica News