The Jamaica Government has allocated an initial sum of $5 million for clean-up and disposal of the sargassum seaweed currently affecting beaches and coastlines across the island and the wider Caribbean.
This was disclosed by Director of Environmental Management at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Anthony McKenzie, at a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday.
Clumps of the brownish seaweed have long washed up on Caribbean coastlines, but researchers say the algae blooms have exploded in extent and frequency in recent years.
The 2015 seaweed invasion has become a worrisome problem for beachfront properties and tourism interests, as the seaweed produces an offensive odour and is a turn-off to guests and beachgoers. Persons living close to coastlines and beachfronts, as well as fisher folk, are also affected.