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  • Amy Pilsbury


We recently met with the team over at SARTRAC to collaborate and align our goals towards creating sustainable futures for coastal communities across the Caribbean and West Africa who are affected by problematic Sargassum blooms.

Sargassum barge (Photo: Michael William, Dominican Republic)

SARTRAC (Teleconnected SARgassum risks across the Atlantic: Building capacity for TRansformational Adaptation in the Caribbean and West Africa) is a GCRF funded project which focuses on identifying adaption and management opportunities for local coastal communities. The project brings together expertise from the University of Southampton, University of Ghana, University of the West Indies and the University of York.

The project will use a multi-pronged approach to tackling annual Sargassum influxes including;


Using ocean and atmospheric data models and remote sensing technology to understand more about the growth and movement of Sargassum in the Atlantic Ocean. They will also use this information to identify the social and economic distribution of gains and losses from Sargassum impacts in the area.

(Photo: Sien Van Der Plank, SARTRAC)

Community impact:

The team are involving local stakeholders from the very beginning to help identify sustainable and profitable uses of Sargassum and create opportunities for the most affected and poorest communities.

Policy and governance:

Exploring governance issues through the analysis of legal and policy frameworks. Working with policy makers in Jamaica and Ghana to generate stakeholder-driven co-produced products.

Bio-chemical analysis:

Identifying the bio-chemical composition of the seaweed to identify uses and the potential barriers to sustainability within the local community.

PhycoMExUK will be working alongside SARTRAC creating vital sharing networks with both those on the ground and within the research field to create sustainable futures for vulnerable coastal communities. The project goals align nicely alongside each other focusing on both large industrial and localised community scales, we can take this opportunity to learn from each other.

Here at PhycoMExUK, we pride ourselves on being collaborative. There is not only one solution to the Sargassum crisis and working together is important in identifying potential uses and establishing a plethora of processes to deal with excess biomass. We will continue to work with other stakeholders and researchers, such as SARTRAC, to minimise the impacts of Sargassum on those living in affected areas.

You can find out more about SARTRACs work:

Or follow them on twitter: @SARTRAC1

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