Sargassum is a genus of large brown seaweed that floats in island-like mats and is a crucial habitat for many different species.
Because of this, you are not allowed to remove seaweed that has not washed ashore. At certain times of the year when it does wash ashore, it gives off a foul smell as it dries. Usually, a nor’wester will blow through and take it out to sea again, but sometimes it builds up so much that it must be removed.
If doing this yourself, be sure to remove it in the least intrusive way (hand raking) and be conscious of wildlife, especially during turtle nesting season, May-November. Care must be taken not to destabilise the beach and cause erosion.
Using machinery to remove sargassum is not advisable due to the environmental risks. If it is deemed necessary, the Department of Environment (DoE) must grant approval beforehand. It is essential that you use the same route on and off the beach when using machinery to prevent further destruction.