Sargassum Monitoring 2022

Sargassum on beach

Sargassum on beach

If you are traveling to an oceanfront beach for your next vacation you might want to check out this website, for mapping of Sargassum.

Here is a brief summary of the good and bad!

  • Is Sargassum harmful to humans? Sargassum presents risks to human health as well. In the water, it's harmless to humans, but the trouble begins once it lands on the beach and starts to decompose. The decomposition of beached sargasso begins 48 hours after washing up. It then releases hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas and ammonia. (info from google search)
  • Sargassum provides 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 seaweed is a nutritious food rich in carotenoids, cellulose, protein, and aspartic and glutamic acids. Sargassum seaweed contains polysaccharies, which support healthy bloody pressure and blood sugar. It has antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
  • Data gathered over the past decade has revealed the likely causes of these seaweed invasions: Saharan dust clouds, warming temperatures and the growing human nitrogen footprint. Just as nutrients feed red tide blooms, they feed sargassum, which thrives in warmer water.
  • The groups at risk are asthma patients, elderly people, babies and pregnant women. Certain animals, especially dogs, are also sensitive to the inhalation of hydrogen sulfide. He further cautions to avoid swimming in Sargassum infested waters as it can lead to skin irritation.

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