SARGASSUM-SEAWEED-FREE BEACHES IN ANTIGUA
There have been some controversial articles online suggesting that the Sargassum seaweed has ricocheted and blanketed beaches in the Caribbean, including Antigua. Citizens, circumnavigation tour operators and beachgoers on the island who habitually troll the coastline believe that journalists have gone too far and beg to differ.
Our opinion is that it has not ricocheted, it is just that it is now a consistent issue and clearly needs some long term strategic thinking about how to deal with it on an ongoing basis, rather than it just being an occasional issue.
There are many theories from scientists and environmentalists about why the phenomenon has occurred, with climate change cited as the underlying cause, and that debate will continue, we just ask for some objective journalism about something that is a relatively new issue and nowhere near the scale that some are suggesting. That doesn’t mean that there should not be a focus on what can be proactively done to deal with it, and proactively done to use it as an opportunity for new industries, but in terms of its actual effect on our beaches, the sensationalism needs to stop.
Eli Fuller, an ardent environmentalist and tour operator passionately puts it this way: “MOST of our “365 beaches” have no sargassum on them at all, and MOST of our hotels have no issue from sargassum. PLEASE STOP MAKING IT SOUND AS THOUGH ANTIGUA IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A SARGASSUM DISASTER.” (Adventure Antigua, www.adventureantigua.com)
Sargassum, which is an algae that grows in the mid-Atlantic, has been a hot topic in the tourism media lately and strictly in terms of climate change, there isn’t really a bad time to enjoy a beach excursion in Antigua. It’s warm all year long, and the only thing that halts that is rainfall.
In an added effort to separate fact from fiction, the resident admits that seaweed has washed ashore on ‘some of our beaches on the windward side’ of the island. However, there is no need to be alarmed by critics who claim the Caribbean is clogged by it and maintains that Antigua 'still has amazing beaches' - plenty of pristine sargassum-free spots on miles upon miles of powdery white sand and crystal clear water lapping the shores so not to rule out a perfect shoreline getaway on the island anytime soon. And with the hot weather, this is good news for locals alike as it’s another reason to hit the beaches.
See pictorial proof if you are in doubt Antigua remains a desirable destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.
Photo courtesy of Adventure Antigua