ACS and Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism discuss collaborative efforts to address the Sargassum Challenges

Association of Caribbean States (ACS) held a productive meeting with the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) on March 19th, 2024. This meeting aimed at exploring the collaborative efforts to address the environmental challenge posed by the sargassum seaweed while exploring its potential as a resource for the region's agricultural sector.

Since 2020, the CRFM, with financial backing from New Zealand, has embarked on an ambitious project aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of sargassum in the Caribbean, which involves addressing arsenic and cadmium content. This initiative seeks to unlock the commercial potential of sargassum, working in collaboration with key regional institutions such as CARDI and UWI, alongside other partners like CAF and CARPHA.

A notable achievement of the project has been the development of a liquid fertilizer in glasshouse conditions, now progressing to field trials in partnership with Caribbean Chemicals to address both scientific and market issues. The project emphasizes green production practices, presenting a dual opportunity to significantly reduce the region's fertilizer import bill and foster partnerships between the private sector and government bodies.

On behalf of the ACS, the meeting was attended by Secretary General Rodolfo Sabonge, the Chief Executive Coordinator Tricia Barrow, and ACS Advisers Cherisse Braithwaite-Joseph and Lisa Douglas-Paul. The CRFM was represented by its Executive Director, Milton Haughton. There were also insights from Sanya Compton, a research graduate from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sophie Jones-Williams from the New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research, and industry expert Jason Dunn.

About the ACS

The Association of Caribbean States is the organization for consultation, cooperation and concerted action in trade, transport, sustainable tourism and natural disasters in the Greater Caribbean. Its Member States are Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. Its Associate Members are Aruba, Curacao, (France on behalf of French Guiana, Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin ), Guadeloupe, Martinique, Sint Maarten, (The Netherlands on behalf of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius ), Turks and Caicos.