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Sargassum slowly washing up on Belizean shores

The sargassum seaweed is slowly making its presence known on the windward shores of Ambergris Caye. According to satellite images, large mats have been spotted far out on the Atlantic Ocean, entering the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, to then inundate the region with tons of the brown algae. Island authorities are aware of the looming threat and are considering the necessary precautions to deal with the matter if its presence escalates. Mayor Daniel Guerrero stated that a busy sargassum season can be expected this year. He indicated that his administration has a lot on its plate as they wade through the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are monitoring the sargassum edging its way to our shores. The algae has been noticed on the beaches in and around downtown, where it is slowly beginning to accumulate.

Compared to the same time last year, the arrival of sargassum seems delayed. By May 2019, mounds of decaying sargassum were causing a dent in the tourism economy across the region. Due to COVID-19, 2020ís tourism season might be considered over, but the sargassum will still affect the health of people and wildlife on the island. In March of this year, satellite images showed a large amount of sargassum floating on the Eastern Caribbean. According to researchers from the University of South Florida USA, that amount is more than two million tons of sargassum, which continues to increase significantly as it makes its way to the Western Caribbean.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun