Sargassum Early Warning System

Tracking Sargassum

Image taken by Ulises Jauregui, Playa Nigua, Dominican Republic (May 2020)

Before we can predict where sargassum will land, and who will be affected, we need to be able to find the sargassum in the oceans, and monitor its progress towards vulnerable communities. This work package draws on satellite imagery to detect and monitor sargassum in the tropical Atlantic. Our aim is to co-develop a Sargassum monitoring and dissemination system with stakeholders, providing information on Sargassum strandings. While monitoring systems have been implemented to detect strandings of Sargassum, finer-scale prediction tools are needed in forecasting to know where stranding will occur. This is particularly important in sargassum affected areas where the poorest groups in society live, as well as to sectors which employ low income and unskilled workers who could be affected e.g. agriculture, fisheries, tourism and recreation.

We will: develop an operational and near real-time monitoring and dissemination system. Using satellite and drone imagery, an improved algorithm for the detection of Sargassum stranding events will be created to inform the development of an early-warning system for the Caribbean, and a prototype early-warning system for Ghana. Our planned activities include:

  1. Detection of stranding events;
  2. Early-warning system development and dissemination;
  3. Training and transfer of early-warning system to Ghana.

This work package is led by Prof Jadu Dash, Dr Ava Maxam, Dr Philip-Neri Jayson Quashigah, Dr Sien Van Der Plank, Ms Ajani Bissick and Ms Yanna Alexia Fidai.

Outputs from this work package :