• Tomaz Ponce Dentinho

Air Centre Networking Friday Special Thematic Session on Sargassum July 31st


We already had several fantastic Networking Fridays sessions. Great speakers and moderators and more than twelve hundred very proactive unique participants coming from governments, academia, multilateral organizations, companies, entrepreneurs and civil society from 68 countries from all over the world. Videos of past sessions are available on our YouTube Channel. The Networking Fridays will continue in the next months, every Friday, always starting 1pm UTC. Our goal is to keep our network active, connected and informed of interesting activities going on around the Atlantic region.

This Friday, July 31st, 1-3 PM UTC, Networking Friday Special Thematic Session on Sargassum with Cesar Toro (IOCARIBE of IOC-UNESCO), Karima Degia (UWI), Sandra Ketelhake (AtlantOS program), Isabel Sousa Pinto (CIIMAR, GEO MBON), and Leah Mupas Segui (GEO Blue Planet Initiative). The moderator will be Emily Smail (NOAA, GEO Blue Planet Initiative).

Sargassum is a genus of large brown algae that includes over 300 species. Two prevalent species in the Atlantic, Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans, are found in free-floating mats, held afloat by gas-filled bladders. This floating habitat provides food and protection for fishes, mammals, marine birds, crabs, and more. It serves as a critical habitat for threatened loggerhead sea turtles and as a nursery area for a variety of commercially important fishes such as mahi mahi, jacks, and amberjacks. Various marine life above and below the water rely on floating mats of Sargassum (NOAA 2014). Starting in 2011, floating Sargassum began to impact coastal communities around the Atlantic. Once confined to the Sargasso Sea, recent studies suggest that changing wind patterns has caused Sargassum to proliferate across the tropical Atlantic (Johns et al. 2020). Thousands of tons of Sargassum end up on beaches in the Caribbean, Americas, and West Africa. It releases gas that smells like rotten eggs, which attracts flies, deters tourists, and causes respiratory problems. Mounds of algae on beaches and dense mats in the ocean harm marine ecosystems and disrupt recreation and fishing, costing local communities millions of dollars. Removal and containment efforts are often expensive and puts marine life at risk (source: Sargassum Information Hub).


Please register for this session here https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zVWiJCKGSFyhNEWK3Ba6Fw?utm_source=AIR+Centre&utm_campaign=ea43040417-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_21_10_26_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f6e6916653-ea43040417-176853249

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