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Seaweed’s harm outweighs benefits, say Antigua fishermen by Alicia Simon July 12,2012   |  Source: Observer Media

Despite claims from the executive director of the Sargasso Sea Alliance that sargassum seaweed increases the amount of fish in and around Antigua & Barbuda’s waters, the island’s fishermen say that the benefits are few and far between.

In an interview on OBSERVER AM Wednesday, Dr David Freestone of the Washington-based organisation, said although the seaweed can be “noxious”, it also has positive side effects.

“The good part is that it acts like…a fish aggregation device (FAD)…when you float something in the open ocean, fish congregate underneath it. This not only has fish and creatures that live in it, but it also has a lot of fish that live under it. So you increase the amount of fish available in Antigua. It is just that it causes some collateral issues,” the executive director said.

He added, “The sargassum creates a completely unique eco system with a lot of creatures that only live in the sargassum. It also provides an amazing habitat for fish that we like to catch and eat, like dolphin fish, wahoo and tuna.”

Dr Freestone did acknowledge, though, that the seaweed could cause some “collateral issues” to the ecology of the island—including stifling the oxygen in the water by blocking sunlight from reaching the seabed and

 

© 2012 Observer Publications Limited

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