Beach seaweed transformed from nuisance to fertiliser

| 21/10/2015
Cayman News Service

Groundkeeper Melvin Gill spreading seaweed on the flower beds at Cayman Turtle Farm

(CNS): Cayman Turtle Farm (CTF) staff have been collecting the huge mats of brown Sargassum seaweed that have been washing up on Cayman’s shores recently to use as fertiliser. The seaweed feeds the soil with nutrients as it decomposes; reduces evaporation from the soil’s surface, thus aiding moisture retention; and helps keep weeds from growing.

“We use the weed for fertilising the trees and plants. It’s very organic and very good for the plants,” CTF groundskeeper Melvin Gill explained.

Noting that there is a lot of seaweed all around Grand Cayman, he added that “as well as helping to clean the place, I suggest that people should use it around their plants because it’s very good.”

Though it is not known exactly what causes the blooms of Sargassum seaweed which originate off the coast of South America, experts say it could be warmer waters, different sea currents, or even the nutrient-rich run-off from increased fertiliser use on land.


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