VI News Staff 1 year ago
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Sargassum seaweed being cleared from mangroves around Slaney Point

SLANEY POINT, Tortola, VI- The public is being notified that remedial works are currently being done in the vicinity of Slaney Point to clear Sargassum seaweed in the Mangrove Cay.

SLANEY POINT, Tortola, VI- The public is being notified that remedial works are currently being done in the vicinity of Slaney Point to clear Sargassum seaweed in the Mangrove Cay.

According to a press release from Government Information Services (GIS), the remedial works are a part of a larger scale of works that are being carried out across the Territory in areas such as Handsome Bay Virgin Gorda, Trellis Bay Beef Island, and Anegada.

According to Marine Biologist Mervin D. Hastings of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, “While works are being done to clean up the Sargassum, all efforts are made to ensure that no mangroves in the area are damaged or affected.”

What is Sargassum?

Sargassum is a genus of large brown seaweed (a type of algae) that floats in island-like masses and never attaches to the seafloor.

Floating rafts of Sargassum can stretch for miles across the ocean. This floating habitat provides food, refuge, and breeding grounds for an array of animals such as fishes, sea turtles, marine birds, crabs, shrimp, and more. Some animals, like the sargassum fish (in the frogfish family), live their whole lives only in this habitat. Sargassum serves as a primary nursery area for a variety of commercially important fishes such as mahi mahi, jacks, and amberjacks.

When Sargassum loses its buoyancy, it sinks to the seafloor, providing energy in the form of carbon to fishes and invertebrates in the deep sea, thus serving as a potentially important addition to deep-sea food web.

READ MORE: VIRGIN ISLANDS NEWS ONLINE

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