South fishermen hit hard by seaweed invasion

MATS of Sargassum seaweed covering the beaches on east coast Trinidad have also done extensive damage to the fishing industry along the south coast. And there appears to be no end in sight.

The Siparia Regional Corporation (SRC) and the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation (PDRC) have called for Government assistance in the clean-up.

The corporations have exhausted all available manpower in trying to clean the beaches and port facilities.

Chairman of the Siparia Regional Corporation Leo Doodnath said that Icacos beach has been the worst hit. Also affected are the Morne Diablo, Los Iros and Erin beaches.

Fisherman are unable to take their boats out to sea from the Morne Diablo Fishing Port on Trinidads south coast as a result of the seaweed which has smothered the shoreline. -Photo: RICHARD CHARAN
Fisherman are unable to take their boats out to sea from the Morne Diablo Fishing Port on Trinidads south coast as a result of the seaweed which has smothered the shoreline. -Photo: RICHARD CHARAN

Doodnath said that the fishing community is being adversely affected by the coastal plants as they are unable to launch their boats and ply their trade.

He said, “Fishermen can’t go out to sea because the huge amount of seaweed blocking them. When they cast their nets its only seaweed they catching.”

Doodnath also said that the Santa Flora and Palo Seco police youths clubs will be involved in voluntarily clean-up.

PDRC chairman Premchand Sookoo shared similar sentiments. He said that the corporation has seen an increase in seaweed over the last two weeks.

Concerns remain on the effect the drifting plants would have on tourism with the decomposing plants looking unsightly and the foul smell emanating in the air.

However Sookoo believes that people would still come to enjoy the beach despite the large marine plant influx.

He said: “Well people still coming, they finding spots that clear and swimming.”

Both corporations have compost sites to dump the seaweed in a bid to clear to beach.

The PDRC’s site is in Morne Diablo and SRC has a location in Chatham.

 

Photo: A child reacts after seeing the extent of the seaweed at Morne Diablo which has left many beaches on Trinidads east and south coast, covered. -Photo: RICHARD CHARAN

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