September 9, 2011
Company eyes seaweed exports

Fri, Sept 09. 2011

A Barbadian company says it has the solution to Barbados and the Caribbean’s sargassum seaweed problem.{{more}}

NTEK Design Solutions, a young environmental solutions company told Barbados TODAY it already had a potential buyer from China who is interested in importing the seaweed from Barbados.

At the moment, Government has launched an extensive beach clean-up to collect miles of seaweed which pose a threat to tourism from the island’s beaches.

The seaweed is currently being collected and stored at the National Conservation Commission headquarters at Codrington, St. Michael, as Government tries to figure out what to do with it.

Director of the company, Dwayne Squires, said that was thousands of dollars in foreign exchange just sitting there. China has a big market for by-products from the seaweed, including bio-diesel and beauty products. It is also used for fertiliser and natural remedies there.

However, Squires said when he pitched the idea to a “person of influence” they treated it as a joke.

“They were a bit reluctant to take our suggestion to the next step; basically just collecting it, packing it and sending it to a supplier in China. It would help in terms of getting it off our beaches as well as economically because we will be profiting from it but we’ve getting a few setbacks,” said Squires.

He added that the company had “certain procedures” where they could trap the seaweed before it even reached Barbados’ shores. But this would involve the co-operation of fishermen who would be compensated.

“So everyone stands to benefit,” said Squires.(Melissa Rollock/ barbadostoday)