The buildup of seaweed along the shoreline in Rodney Bay, Gros Islet over the past week has raised concerns among individuals working in the hotel industry, as they believe if the issue continues, it could have a negative effect on the local tourism sector.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Donovan Amos Williams, told St Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview that while the buildup will have some impact on the industry, the ministries responsible have been closely knitted in putting measures in place to tackle the issue as it arises.
“Anything that has an impact on the sector is likely to be something that we would not want to see continue. So it is in our interest certainly as a sector to try to ensure that wherever arises, we can deal with it in a quick manner,” he added.
The permanent secretary noted that his ministry has been in touch with various hotels, stakeholders and the agriculture ministry to coordinate the removal of the seaweed.
Williams further explained that the Ministry of Tourism is also in constant dialogue with agencies responsible for monitoring the seaweed infestation and has not seen any major buildups so far.
“We have to keep consistently and constantly monitoring the situation and not allow any major buildup to occur where we could see no adverse impact occurring,” he told SNO.
One hotel owner in the Rodney Bay area, who requested anonymity, said the situation can have an adverse effect on the hotel industry, since the main attraction in that location is the beaches.
“It will affect our water sporting department a great lot,” an official from the hotel told SNO.
Over the past week, Rodney Bay has seen a series of seaweed buildup along its shores. However, the issue was quickly resolved and returned to normalcy.
St. Lucia in general has seen a series of seaweed build up over the past months. Affected areas includes: Dennery, Micoud, Praslin Bay, Cas En Bas Beach, Gros Islet, Mon Repos and Soufriere.
Residents and fishermen of these communities have both expressed concern about the buildup and the stench emanating from the decomposing seaweeds.
Agriculture Minister Moses Jn Baptiste, commenting on the issue in a previous interview with SNO, said the issue is not overly alarming and explained a number of ways to deal with the situation as it arises.
Other government officials had also expressed concern over the effects of a massive buildup of seaweed along Saint Lucia’s eastern shore, and have called on communities and agencies to band together to help rid the coast of the decaying mass.
While St. Lucia has seen an increase in sea weed infestations, the issue has been a widespread phenomenon throughout the Caribbean.