Over the past several years, we, at Lakson, have been investigating the problem of sargassum invasion in the Caribbean.
Sargassum, is a type of brown algae that forms in the ocean and that has recently started drifting onto the Caribbean islands, as well as the Mexican Gulf Coast, causing many undesired consequences, some of which are:
- Pollution of touristic beaches and sites and generation of repulsive smells, which cause a decrease in touristic activity.
- Can cause eye irritation, respiratory irritation, skin irritation, nausea, vomiting and migraines for the people exposed.
- Requires costly collection and cleaning operations.
- Disrupts sea navigation and fishing.
- Destroys ecosystems; kills fishes and prohibits corals growth.
- Damages the soil and environment when stockpiled or landfilled.
Through our studies, we have examined and analyzed the different stabilizing and valorization approaches that were proposed by other companies and we have developed our own innovative solution to this problem. Our efforts have led us to a solution that consists in conditioning and valorizing the sargassum as soon as it is brought to shore in order to limit its decay and reduce the emissions of ammonia, methane and hydrogen sulfide, therefore making it more ecological than the more conventional biodigestion approach. Furthermore, our solution generates virtually no residual by-product and is much more compact, easier to maintain and economical than its counterpart.
More recently, in early July, Lakson’s team went to the Quintana Roo region of Mexico to meet various industrials, government officials and scholars/universities, in order to assess the current situation with the algae and propose our solution and services. Our team has been met with positive feedback and we are currently developing the initial phases of several studies and projects together with local partners such as a local university and other key players in Mexico.