With the recent issues involving the overgrowth of sargassum along Belize’s coastline, many communities have been doing everything possible to not only clean, but to minimize the amounts accumulated on the seashores. Various communities such as San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Hopkins and Placencia are all battling with the seemingly never-ending incease of sargassum on their beaches. Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Jr, and inhabitant of San Pedro, spoke on the issue.
Manuel Heredia Jr. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation: “We have a task force made up of DOE, Coastal Zone, Fisheries Department and our own people form the industry as to what will be the short term, middle term and long term for this one because we have seen rather than minimizing it; it is increasing. The amount that we are getting in the Belizean Coast Line is much greater than anytime in my 30 years of fishing that I did. I have never seen anything like that. It used to be three months now we cannot say how long it will last. It was predicted by scientist that it will finalize in the middle of August . We are now in September and we are seeing it rather than diminishing it is increasing so I had a visit to Placencia on Wednesday and I stopped by also at Hopkins to see.”
He, however, states how pleased he is to see everyone working together and the plans that are in store to minimize the current problem.
Manuel Heredia Jr. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation: “I am glad of the initiative that stakeholders and the villagers are taking in Placencia. The second step to that is putting these curtains to protect. It will not be to stop it but to protect it before it reaches the beach so they are working on that and they will advise us and so on when they have all the information together. Like in San Pedro, Gran Caribe started with that already but it needs to be a team effort that all hotels will do to divert it and eventually it can go to an area where it doesn’t affect the industry.”