Supporting decision making for optimal management of the scourge of sargassum

In the West Indies, the inhabitants are faced with sargassum, brown algae that accumulates on the beaches... a real environmental, economic and health scourge. The SUEZ Consulting teams have been mandated to support decision-making on collection systems, both on land and at sea.
The mission
Since 2011, sargassum from the Atlantic Ocean has been accumulating on beaches and decomposing, releasing foul-smelling gases that cause major public health and socio-economic issues and undeniable impact on biodiversity, beyond the accelerated corrosion of metal surfaces, fittings and electrical appliances.

A proliferation that continues to develop over the years...
Did you know?
Since 2011, the Caribbean has been heavily affected by large amounts of sargassum algae washing ashore
Source: BRGM
Between 2015 and 2019 SUEZ Consulting evaluated nearly 12 collection systems on behalf of ADEME
Source: SUEZ Consulting
2015 and 2018: worst years of sargassum build-up
Source: USF College of Marine Science
300 number of sargassum species identified around the world
Source: Technical report CERMES n°97, October 2020
Our solution
The teams of SUEZ Consulting were mandated in 2020 to make an evaluation of innovative collection devices in order to collect as much sargassum as possible and to return to the inhabitants their littorals without these algae.

The main objective is to evaluate several new devices and a large-scale field survey for optimal sargassum collection.

A three-step approach:

Production of summary sheets evaluating the collection systems:
  • Technical details of the collection system
  • Calculation of system performance
  • Analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the system

Analysis of factors influencing the sustainability of the materials:
  • Identification of the main malfunctions
  • Listing of factors influencing the theoretical life of the collection equipment
  • Estimation of the real-life span of these systems

Benchmark of actions that could be deployed in the short and medium time in terms of knowledge, communication and economy:
  • Highlighting the requirements for the pre-deployment of collection systems
  • Synthesis and popularisation of information on optimising the theoretical life of collection equipment