[India] CSMCR (Central Salt and Marine Chemical Research Institute, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India), has been working on the Continue reading Seaweed-based biostimulants to enhance productivity
[Mexico] Mexico’s tourist beaches could be cleared of rotting seaweed by a new scheme to turn it into fertiliser and fuel. Continue reading Hydrothermal liquefaction fertiliser scheme could solve Mexico’s seaweed problem
[USA] University of South Florida researchers recently released a study on “brown macroalgae” or sargassum, the world’s largest Continue reading World’s largest seaweed bloom stretches from Africa to the Gulf of Mexico
[Mexico, Global] A record-breaking mass of smelly seaweed stretching from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico has been Continue reading Record-breaking seaweed bloom stretches from West Africa to Mexico
[Mexico] Mexico has spent $17 million to remove over a half-million tons of sargassum seaweed from its Caribbean beaches, and the Continue reading Mexico struggling to deal with seaweed invading some of its Caribbean beaches
[Mexico] A Mexican inventor has developed recyclable organic sports shoes made from old plastic bottles – with added seaweed, Continue reading Mexico pioneers recycled seaweed shoes
[Saint Lucia] What can a small-island fertilizer brand teach the world about zero-waste, food security, climate resilience and economic Continue reading Meet Saint Lucia’s first indigenous biotech company
[Mexico] After a successful trial construction of a home last year, there are plans in one region of Mexico to use the sargassum Continue reading Mexican hotel to be built from bricks made with sargassum
[Mexico] What the Quintana Roo authorities and scientists never imagined in their wildest dreams, a Portomorelense (man from Continue reading First house entirely made of Sargassum built by Mexican inventor in Quintana Roo
Shorelines around Florida and the Caribbean have been choked with invaders over the past month. No, it’s not tourists — it’s seaweed.
Sargassum seaweed, which originates in the Gulf of Mexico and is actually a type of algae, has been washing up on beaches and coastlines in vacation-heavy hotspots like Miami and Cancun since July.
The weeds have wreaked havoc on local fauna, choking coral reefs and destroying habitats for birds, sea turtles, and fish. The seaweed deluge has also made life difficult for fisherman, since it is capable of wrecking boat propellers, fishing nets, and engines.
Sargassum seaweed is usually pushed by currents into the Sargasso Sea — a large gyre off the coast of North America — where the floating mats serve as an important habitat for marine organisms.
Researchers are struggling to figure out why the weeds have started washing up on Caribbean coastlines. Some experts say the influx of Sargassum could be fueled by a combination of increased nitrogen pollution from agricultural runoff and rising ocean temperatures, according to The New Republic.
The first Sargassum invasion in the Caribbean was recorded in 2011, according to the BBC.
In some extreme cases, resorts have had to close beaches during the busy summer season to remove the seaweed. Here’s what the invasion looks like:
Sargassum algae is pictured along Punta Piedra beach in Tulum, Mexico on August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Israel LealThe most recent invasions began in July, and experts say they may last through September.
The island of Barbados declared a national emergency in August because of the seaweed invasion.
The seaweed can pile up to 7 meters thick (over 22 feet) on coastlines.
“We’ve had mass mortality of sea turtles that have gotten trapped under ever-thickening piles,” Hazel Oxenford, a Barbados-based fisheries biologist at the University of the West Indies, told The New Republic. “When the turtles try to come up for air, they drown.”
In its natural habitat in the Sargasso Sea, the floating algae provides a habitat for fish and crustaceans, which seabirds and sharks then feed on.
Researchers struggling to understand these Sargassum blooms have said more research is needed, especially into the role of nitrogen pollution and ocean acidification.
“The issue is that we never know what it’s going to be like — we can have a week or two weeks where it’s very clear and then all of a sudden overnight it washes in,” Larry Basham, chief operating officer of Elite Island Resorts, told the BBC.
“It’s yet another man-made problem that’s been thrown at the Caribbean that isn’t our doing,” Oxenford told The New Republic.
Photo: In this Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018 photo, children play on the beach full of sargassum in Bahia La Media Luna, near Akumal in Quintana Roo state, Mexico. AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo
View original article at: A dramatic seaweed invasion has hit coastlines across Florida and the Caribbean, killing wildlife
Contact Algae World News for algae industry advertising and other opinions: [email protected]