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Sargassum Vistis the VI

Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer Mr. Bertrand Lettsome is confirming reports of an abundance of Sargassum in the Territory’s waters, but assures residents there is no cause for alarm.

Defining the natural substance, the Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer said, “Sargassum is the large brown patches of seaweed seen floating on the water surface. This is abundant in the North Atlantic in an area known as the Sargasso Sea.”

He added, “When I was a child this was something that happened every year and with the sargassum came young turtles and juvenile fish. It is natural and good for the environment. It is very rich in nutrients and makes good fertilizer when washed on shore.”

The Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer added, “Sargassum is distributed throughout oceans worldwide by prevailing winds, storms and ocean currents and that can be a probable cause of its abundance in the Virgin Islands at this time. This is a natural occurrence and is no cause for concern.”

He added that sargassum also serves as an important pelagic habitat for numerous species of marine life and is adapted to the tropical environment.

The Conservation and Fisheries Department have received reports of the abundance of Sargassum stemming throughout the Virgin Islands. The Conservation and Fisheries Department wishes to thank the public for their vigilance and encourages the continued reporting of environmental concerns.

For more information, persons may contact the Conservation and Fisheries Department at 468-3701 ext. 5555.

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