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Tourists walk past large quantities of seaweed piling up on the beach in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, Mexico, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. The seaweed invasion, which appears to have hit most of the Caribbean this year, is generally considered a nuisance and has prompted some hotel cancellations from tourists but scientists consider washed-up seaweed an important part of the coastal eco-system and plays a role in beach nourishment although some scientists have also associated the large quantities of seaweed this year in the Caribbean region with higher than normal temperatures and low winds, both of which influence ocean currents, and they draw links to global climate change. (AP Photo/ Israel Leal)

Sargassum: Mother nature’s way to keep the ocean balance

Every time we think about the caribbean, we see turquoise water, white sands and sun, so when we arrive to the place where we will take the most amazing vacations so we don’t expect to find a beach crowded with sargasso.

Well, it’s important to know the causes and how the sargassum is an amazing thing for the beach and the ocean.

First of all, what is it? The sargassum is a brown alga, or seaweed that floats free in the ocean and it is never attached to the ocean floor. These this kind of alga is only found in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Sargassum has a purpose, that is to provide refuge for migratory species and essential habitat for some 120 species of fish and more than 120 species of invertebrates. It’s an important nursery habitat that provides shelter and food for endangered species such as sea turtles and for commercially important species of fish such as tunas.

Sargassum could be around for many reasons, but scientists think that one of the causes for the big quantity of this alga is because of the higher levels of temperature registered this year, higher than average. Also, low winds which are part of the influence in the ocean currents take an important role part in the global climate change.


Recently, 90 tons of Sargassum Algae have been washed up on Cancun’s beaches but the authorities are concerned it will disturb sea turtles returning to the beaches to the lay their eggs, and the tourists for whom the beaches are the main attraction.

The sargassum plays an important role in beach nourishment and is an important element of shoreline stability. Something important to know is that sargassum is not toxic to humans. When it decomposes on sand you might notice a black layer underneath, but this is normal and it is a sign of mother nature doing her work of incorporating the sargassum into the beach.
Now you know! It’s not a bad thing, it is actually mother nature taking care of the planet!

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