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A sea of seaweed closes Trinidad’s east coast

Rocio Higuera, Periodista Rocio Higuera
A sea of seaweed closes Trinidad's east coast

The Sargassum Seaweed is an almost annual visitor to the shores of Trinidad and Tobago.

Rocio Higuera

But this time, the seaweed considered a smell nuisance and tourist turn-off, is helping the authorities to keep people away from the beaches.

Periodista Rocio Higuera

The Express visited beaches along the east coast on Thursday and discovered the seaweed, a type of brown algae, had washed ashore in unprecedented quantities

The beaches were almost deserted apart from a family and a small group of of non-nationals who visited the area

The Ortoire River was almost covered with sargassum, the Express found

Mayaro MP Rushton Paray said Sagassum seaweed was a natural occurrence and Trinidad and Tobago had made no progressive steps in dealing with it

However, he agreed that the seaweed was having a positive effect of keeping citizens away from the beaches during the Covid 19 pandemic

This year, he said, the seaweed was not being considered a priority by the Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation

The limited funding was being used to execute sanitization, providing truck borne water and general sensitizing of Covid-19 in communities, he said

Paray said in consultation with Chairman Raymond Cozier it was decided that the removal of Sargassum will not be a priority at this time

And citizens were also heeding the government’s appeal to practice social distancing to prevent community spread of the virus, as there was not a lot of activity at the Mayaro Junction

Many businesses were open but few shoppers. And not many people stood in line at the popular food outlets. Bars remained closed as instructed by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. And there were no large gatherings

Some beach houses lining the coast were closed, while others housed the few who opted to “wait it out” at the beach because it helps bring them “peace of mind”