3/12/2023 /// Venice, Florida /// What is the Great Sargassum Bloom?
What is the great Atlantic Sargassum belt?
Sargassum is a large, leafy brown seaweed that’s abundant in the ocean. Its ability to float comes from the small berrylike orbs sprouting from the plant — gas-filled structures mostly containing oxygen.
The seaweed tends to bob around in island-like masses that can stretch for miles. Out in the open ocean, these massive floating islands can be key floating habitats that provide food, shelter and breeding grounds for an array of sea life including fish, sea turtles, crabs and marine birds. Sargassum is also a primary nursery for a variety of commercially important fish, such as mahi mahi, jacks and amberjacks.
A floating island of seaweed stretching from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico (Called: The Great Sargassum Bloom) is now the biggest seaweed bloom in the world, according to satellite observations.
This gigantic bloom is starting to encroach on boath coasts of Florida and with in a few years could be fully in the Gulf of Mexico.
The algal explosion in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea could signify a new normal, say US scientists.
Deforestation and fertiliser use are among the factors thought to be driving the growth.
The seaweed has inundated beaches, causing an environmental, business and community nuisance.
As of June 2018, the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, as scientists call it, extended 8,850km (5,500 miles) and was made up of over 20 million tonnes of biomass.
More updates coming..