The executive vice president of the Dominican Republic Hotels & Tourism Association (Asonahores) Arturo Villanueva said that hotels are absorbing the high cost of removing the seaweed from the beaches. The problem has mainly been affecting the southeastern beaches of La Romana, Juan Dolio, Guayacanes, Boca Chica and La Caleta. In Punta Cana and Bavaro, hoteliers have been hard at work dealing with the seaweed for several months.
It is now obvious that it is a large-scale natural phenomenon and no one has any idea how much longer the sargassum bloom will last. Explanations for the sudden invasion of tons of algae on Caribbean shores include the changing weather patterns and warmer temperatures in the region.
Deputy Minister of Coastal and Marine Resources at the Environment Ministry, Ydalia Acevedo Monedro said that there is nothing that can be done to stop the flow of the seaweed and the only option is to collect it to remove it from beaches.
She said that it was usually a seasonal issue but this time it had been much worse than normal.
Boca Chica is now in a state of emergency due to the sheer volume of seaweed and there is now almost nowhere to swim as the whole bay and part of 60-meter beach are covered. Mayor Daniel Ozuna says they do not have the funds to solve the problem and asked for government help in order to tackle it.