Damen partners with Maris to work on the seaweed solution
Damen Shipyards Group and Maris Projects have came together to work on the issue of invasive Sargassum seaweed in the Caribbean region.
As a part of the natural biological cycle, seaweed has grown in small amounts in the Atlantic before being carried by currents into the Gulf of Mexico for thousands of years. In early July, a 550 kilometer-long mass of sargassum seaweed slowly made its way through the Caribbean, draping the shores in a thick coat of algae.
While sargassum plays an important role in marine ecology and the development stages of many animals. The algae is becoming a major environmental issue and is the sign of further-reaching environmental issues. The weed is causing considerable problems in the region. Aside from the stench it gives off when decomposing, which has led to beach closures, the seaweed also clogs the engines and nets of fishing vessels.
To attempt to find a solution, Damen Green Solutions has partnered with Maris. Damen’s role in the partnership is to develop a dedicated solution based on a specially developed MultiCat for harvesting, preprocessing and transportation Sargassum. Maris brings experience in scalable preprocessing and anaerobic conversion technology.
“Currently, the solutions to the Sargassum challenge only go as far as removing the weed from the sea. Often it is brought onto land and left to decompose, where it gives off damaging greenhouse emissions. What we are attempting to do is develop a holistic, circular solution that turns a negative into a positive. As well as offering clean energy, the aim of the project is also to deliver sustainable benefit to local economies,” Damen Green Solutions director Marcel Karsijns stated.
Maritime Business World