Honduras seaweed season update and forecast conditions 2022

Stay up to date with the latest on Honduras seaweed conditions and sargassum forecast updates reports in the Roatán and the Caribbean.

Honduras seaweed season update and forecast conditions 2022
Tons of sargassum cover the beautiful beaches on the island of Roatán. Photo: Courtesy

The white sand and turquoise water of the beautiful beaches on the paradisiacal island are marred by tons of sargassum seaweed in Honduras that are dragged by the ocean currents.

The sargassum plague seriously affects tourism and the beauty of the beaches, leaving millions of dollars in losses not only in Honduras, but this same phenomenon also invades the Caribbean in other Latin American countries. Faced with the problem of giant carpets of sargassum, municipal authorities, businessmen, environmental organizations and active forces met yesterday in Roatan to seek alternatives and declare the problem as a national emergency.

Ronnie Richard McNab, mayor of Roatán, said that "it should be declared a national emergency, because it not only affects us, but the whole country, so it should be something that is managed by the State. In Mexico, it is handled by the Government, as in Belize, this problem is not handled by the municipalities, so there must be a plan on how to solve it, but hand in hand with the Government".

The official reminded that these phenomena are due to climate change, and some organizations could help with programs since the mayor's office does not have sufficient funds for the management of sargasso.

Owners of hotels, restaurants, and other businesses have given support to the mayor's office, at least to clean the areas under their jurisdiction; however, there are no institutions that have the total capacity to clean all the beaches of the municipality and projects that are needed in the long term, as other Caribbean countries do, since someplace nets to prevent the algae from reaching the beaches.

Seaweed contamination in Honduras

When the sargassum comes out of the water, it must be removed as soon as possible, otherwise, it decomposes by the action of bacteria that consume the oxygen in the water, and kill animals that live in it; while its dark trail blocks sunlight, which eliminates life from the seafloor and emits toxic gases.

Through a statement, members of the technical committee of the Bay Islands National Marine Park, Chamber of Tourism, Chamber of Commerce of the insular department, and the West Bay Hotel Association make "a strong call for the members of civil society, non-governmental organizations, private enterprise and the entire machinery of civil society, non-governmental organizations, private enterprise and the entire machinery of the Bay Islands National Marine Park, the Chamber of Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce of the insular department and the West Bay Hotel Association, private enterprise and the entire Honduran governmental machinery with mandate and competence about this environmental and socioeconomic problem to join efforts, so that the massive arrivals of sargassum are recognized as a problem of national interest, which should be treated as an environmental emergency to allocate financial resources efficiently and sufficiently".