Representative Colin Murdoch from Antigua and Barbuda at the OECS Mission in Geneva, Switzerland, was part of a study tour organized by the mission to an institute that researches sargassum.
In recent years, the brown color and foul odor of the sargassum algae have been a periodic problem for beaches in the Caribbean, affecting sea life, tourism, and the livelihoods of those in the blue economy.
In a media release, the OECS Commission stated it is committed to promoting sustainable solutions for environmental and development challenges.
To meet this commitment, the OECS representatives, including Ambassador Colin Murdoch and colleagues from the OECS headquarters in Saint Lucia, participated in a recent study tour with the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and AlgalTek, an algae production company.
The Paul Sherrer Institute (PSI) is a leading natural and engineering science research institute.
AlgalTek specializes in research, consulting, and developing algae products and algae bioproducts in an environmentally friendly way, including food, cosmetics, packaging, and other materials.
The study tour aimed to identify a baseline for research and technology and help participants build capacity to support projects aimed at effective management and use of sargassum algae.
Participants had the opportunity to see some of the innovations in algae production and studied various methods to process each component of sargassum algae that can be adapted for different uses, such as pigments, proteins, lipids, minerals, microfibrillated cellulose, biofuels, bioplastics, and residue.
They also explored modern methods to collect sargassum algae and discussed possibilities for export to the OECS region.