Sunday, May 16, 2021

Biodiversity News

26

Massive quantities of pelagic sargassum have been washing up along Caribbean shorelines this year, significantly disrupting local fishing, tourism and community activities. This ongoing event recently received considerable attention via the GCFINET LISTSERV. Those correspondences are providing extremely valuable information on this region-wide phenomenon.

 Scientists with the University of Southern Mississippi – Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) and their collaborators are assessing critical aspects of this event (as with the 2011 Caribbean mass sargassum strandings event), including the source and causes. In 2012 the GCRL developed a website (with user-friendly online reporting form) designed specifically to accommodate the reporting of large quantities of pelagic sargassum throughout the Caribbean region. This site serves as a data reporting/collection center and represents a service available to individuals, organizations and fisheries agencies throughout the region for contributing their observations to the sargassum information database. Reported observations are an extremely valuable component of ongoing assessments and are greatly appreciated as we work to understand these events. The progress of our research will be reported periodically via the GCFI listserv and at future GCFI Conferences (a presentation is scheduled for the 2014 GCFI Conference in Barbados).

 

The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) Caribbean Sargassum website is found at http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/sargassum    On the main page, click on Report an Observationto access the online form for reporting sargassum observations in the Caribbean http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/sargassum/sargassum.observation.form.php

 

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