Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The impacts and challenges of the 2015 Sargassum seaweed invasion in the Caribbean.

Abstract

Sargassum seaweed is a brown alga, comprising mainly of two species - Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans found in pelagic masses in the Atlantic Ocean. In 2015, large algal mats inundated American, Caribbean and African coastlines in unprecedented amounts, creating significant environmental and health impacts including to the small island developing state of Grenada. This paper reviews the environmental and health impacts caused by the 2015 invasion. Relevant literature was obtained using databases, namely EBSCO HOST and PubMed. Information was also obtained from special reports, newspaper articles and personal communication. The Prisma Method was adapted to aid in determining the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the study. Results found on the impacts and challenges of the Sargassum seaweed during the year 2015 indicate that many countries were not prepared to deal with the issue especially due to the lack of early warning systems.