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Golden tides: Problem or golden opportunity? The valorisation of sargassum from beach inundations

Golden tides: Problem or golden opportunity? The valorisation of sargassum from beach inundations

Milledge, John J. ORCID: 0000-0003-0252-6711 and Harvey, Patricia J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7193-4570 (2016) Golden tides: Problem or golden opportunity? The valorisation of sargassum from beach inundations. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 4 (3):60. ISSN 2077-1312 (doi:10.3390/jmse4030060)

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Abstract

In recent years there have been massive inundations of pelagic Sargassum known as golden-tides on the beaches of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and West Africa causing considerable damage to the local economy and environment. Commercial exploration of this biomass for food, fuel and pharmaceutical products could fund clean-up and offset the economic impact of these Golden-tides. This paper reviews the potential uses and obstacles for exploitation of pelagic Sargassum.

Although, Sargassum has considerable potential as a source of biochemicals, feed, food, fertiliser and fuel, variable and undefined composition together with the possible presence of marine pollutants may make golden-tides unsuitable for food, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals and limit its use in feed and fertilisers.

Discontinuous and unreliable supply of Sargassum, also presents considerable challenges. Low cost methods of preservation such as solar drying and ensiling may address the problem of discontinuity. The use of processes that can handle a variety of biological and waste feedstocks in addition to Sargassum is a solution to unreliable supply, and anaerobic digestion for the production of biogas is one such process.

More research is need to characterise golden-tides and identify and develop commercial products and processes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sargassum; Phaeophyceae; beach-cast; seaweed; macroalgae; golden-tide
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Department of Life & Sports Sciences
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2017 13:29
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/15812

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