It is expected in the coming months of spring and summer, A large number of sargassums are approaching the shores of the United States and Mexico. The situation keeps the authorities on alert, because in recent years it has meant major trouble for some of the most representative tourist destinations.
Sargassum starts to appear in 2023, mainly on the coasts of Quintana Roo in Mexico and Florida, in the United States, but they expect it to spread much further. The most affected beaches are located in a large part of the Caribbean, such as: Belize, Honduras, Jamaica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Barbados or islands such as San Andres, Guadalupe or Martinique, according to information from New York times.
Currently, a kind of island consisting of brown algae can be seen in the Atlantic Ocean even from space. Sargassum belt as this type is called, It is located between the Gulf of Mexico and the coast of West Africa.. They estimate that it is roughly twice the size of the entire United States.
This phenomenon threatens the beaches of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, which will see an algae invasion that will continue into the next few months.. On beaches in Key West, Florida, parts of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, are preparing for a buildup of sargassum.general NBC News.
The presence of macroalgae is not the only concern for specialists, who warn of its high concentration, which will only get worse in the following months. “These blooms are getting bigger and it looks like this year it will be the biggest so far.. It’s too early to see much. It does not bode well for a summer of clean beaches in 2023,” Brian Lapointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University, told the aforementioned media.
It won’t be completely harmless anymore. In addition to the effects on tourism, it will also have consequences for the environment by emitting toxic gases.
It is called sargassum upon arrival Sargassum Fluitan And S. natansmacroalgae that live in suspension in the seas. It is produced by discharges from industries and agriculture in the great rivers of South America, such as the Amazon and Orinoco. After that, the current pushes them to the north through the Atlantic Sea and makes them multiply very quickly, in order to later end up on the beaches.
Although Sargassum can benefit some marine animals, as it is also a refuge for some species such as fish, crabs and sea turtles, It can affect ecosystems. The amount of algae prevents light from filtering in, which is very important for corals. next to, It prevents other types of algae from performing their photosynthesis.
Likewise, the experts cited New York times They add that When sargassum rots, it pollutes the water by releasing hydrogen sulfide, a colorless gas that can cause respiratory problems in humans.. For his part, Lapointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University, added that since these macroalgae contain arsenic, they can find their way into the food chain if they are used in some fertilizers.
In 2018, doctors in the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique reported some health harms. it seems, The effects of sargassum have caused thousands of “acute” exposures to hydrogen sulfide. This year, it will be in Caribbean waters until mid-October.