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Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia — reusing seaweed innovation

Over the last ten years, several Caribbean islands have experienced a massive influx of Sargassum seaweed. The phenomenon is believed to be caused by climate change, increased sea surface temperatures, a shift in ocean current patterns and a new melting pot of nutrients from rivers, sewage and nitrogen-based fertilizers. The thick seaweed not only harms tourism, but is also devastating fishing operations by entangling equipment, impending vessels, and reducing access to certain species.

The region needs innovative solutions; over the last five years, it has cost local governments millions in clean-up operations. One of the most successful solutions is based on a sustainable reuse approach. Saint Lucian Johanan Dujon, a former PE teacher and founder of Algas Organics, the Caribbean’s only indigenous agricultural biotech company, has found a way to convert the seaweed into fertilizer. To date, Algas Organics products are used on vegetables, grain and turf. Saint Lucia farmers say their yields have increased by 20-30% at a cheaper cost, plus it's 100% organic. Algas Organics now employs six people and has plans to go global.

 

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