Summary of the Informal event and Technical session on Sargassum influx at GCFI 69th annual meeting
The 69th GCFI meeting hosted two sargassum related events. First, an informal meeting was held with participants including coastal managers as well as researchers and representatives of NGOs and the fisheries sector. Discussion among the participants brought out several needs to cope with the issue. We identified different groups of stakeholders needing specific strategies to address the landings of sargassum in terms of management and communication: Government / Coastal managers, NGOs, Tourism, Fisheries and the public.
The Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies of the University of the West Indies together with the SPAW-RAC, the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute and the University of Southern Mississippi recently led the preparation and circulation of a Sargassum management brief with the aim of assisting government officials, coastal managers, beach caretakers and coastal residents by offering guidance on how best to sustainably manage the massive landings associated with the sargassum influx, based on lessons learnt to date. One of the next steps of this on-going collaboration, with the support of the Association of Caribbean States, is to develop specific and short recommendations (several fact sheets and interactive videos). These will be prepared for each group identified according to the specific context of the landing areas (e.g. beach width, beach composition, enclosed bays, turtle nesting areas, wave action, etc.).
A technical session was also held providing the latest scientific information on the origin of the sargassum influx with consideration of oceanographic, climatological, ecophysiological characteristics (links with nutrient increases) as well as the genetic properties of the algal species involved and their associated fauna. There was also a focus on the current status of the forecasting research that highlighted existing data and expertise for setting up short-term predictions, and further described the ongoing efforts and progress towards developing long-term prediction in forecasting future potential landings. All the presentations are available on SPAW-RAC website: http://www.car-spaw-rac.org/?GCFI-69th-session,697.
If you are interested in joining our team as a resource person, please send an email to Frederique.Fardin.firstname.lastname@example.org stating in which area you will be able to help us (Communication, Management, Fisheries, NGO, Governmental office, Research, Environmental education).
The presentations of the technical session of GCFI 69th are available here: http://www.car-spaw-rac.org/?G
The video summary to be showed at GESAMP meeting is available on Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?