Jamaican stakeholders buoyed by seaweed research

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Stakeholders from Jamaica’s academic and business sectors are voicing their interest in Rum and Sargassum’s ongoing research into a new type of biofuel. 

The new biofuel addresses the nuisance of Sargassum biomass influx onto Caribbean beaches by using Sargassum as an affordable and organic input in the production of renewable energy to power transportation.

“I am always very interested in research which is the scientific approach to informing decisions and am encouraged that increasing efforts are being made to convert this ‘nuisance’ (of Sargassum seaweed) and perceived danger to so many aspects of land and livelihood in the Caribbean into a useful product,” said Eleanor Jones, a representative of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and head of Environmental Solutions Limited (ESL).

“Sargassum is a real issue for the Caribbean. It poses problems for fisherfolk, boating, shipping channels and for the tourism industry with respect to beaches. The association with elevated sea temperatures as a consequence of climate change is likely to contribute to the growing proliferation of the seaweed in the Caribbean. However, some observations and studies have indicated that the sustainability of supply for some industries may be a challenge. The volume of occurrence is not always predictable,” she added.

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