5 things you need to know about Sargassum

5 things you need to know about Sargassum

If you’ve been following us on Instagram and TikTok, you’ll know that we’ve spent the last six months travelling around South and Central America. We visit so many beautiful places, but there was one environmental issue that we witnessed in multiple locations was sargassum.


Sargassum is a type of seaweed, and while it might not sound like a big problem, it washes up on beaches around South America and the Caribbean, sometimes covering entire beaches. It has helped to create employment opportunities in some areas, with locals paid to clear the beaches of sargassum, but many are concerned about the long-term impact the problem could have on tourism.


We realised that many people back in the UK might not be aware of this problem, so here are five facts about the seaweed you might not know...

1. There is thought to be more than 20 million tonnes of sargassum floating in the Atlantic Ocean

 Barbados before and after...

2. Deforestation and the use of fertiliser in the Amazon rainforest has caused the growth of sargassum to rocket

Playa del Carmen (Mexico) before and after...

3. 2011 was the first year the seaweed arrived en masse on beaches and shorelines

Cancun (Mexico) before and after...

4. The great Atlantic Sargassum Belt spans the coast of West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico

Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) before and after....

5. While excess sargassum on shorelines is spoiling beaches, in the ocean it provides a vital ecosystem for animals like turtles

Miami Beach (Florida) before and after...

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