A potentially lethal health warning has been issued in the UK as a tide of rotting seaweed sweeps across holiday beaches.
More than 1,000 tonnes of seaweed has been removed from Kent’s holiday beaches between Minnis Bay and Broadstairs in just five weeks due to the surge in toxic sludge.
It is said to have cost Thanet district council £65,000, but they are still unable to remove the seaweed from some locations due to marine conservation zones.
The reason behind the toxic invader coming to our beaches has been put down to ideal growing conditions in the North Sea with warming seas and strong winds.
Amy Cook, founder of the community initiative Rise Up Clean Up Margate, said while it is typical to get seaweed blooms in hotter temperature, this year has been unusual.
More than 1,000 tonnes of seaweed has been removed from Kent’s holiday beaches
An aerial view of Weymouth beach showing the results of a council decision not to clear the sands of rotting seaweed
‘This year… the smell of seaweed has hung over the whole town, which does not usually happen,’ she told The Guardian.
Seaweed is a macroalgae that can only grow in seawater. As it decomposes it can release a gas called hydrogen sulphide, which can affect fish and be lethal.
UK government guidelines also explain how prolonged exposure to the seaweed can cause headaches, eye irritation and respiratory problems.
However, while the seaweed continues to cause issues, Thanet district council cannot remove it from some locations due to the presence of a chalk reef which is a marine conservation zone.
Earlier this year it was revealed that beaches in Weymouth, Dorset, encountered the same issues.
One of Britain’s most popular seaside resorts, Weymouth reported signs where the beaches were slowly being reclaimed by nature thanks to a mass of pungent seaweed.
Swimmers complained of having to wade through the carpet of kelp to get to the sea.
Children have also found themselves draped in its slimy strands as they come out of the water – leading to locals calling for the ‘smelly’ stuff to be removed.
But council officials in the Dorset town said they have no plans to clear away the seaweed, which helps ‘preserve the integrity of the ecosystem’ and is an important food source for sea creatures.
Children have also found themselves draped in its slimy strands as they come out of the water
Swimmers complained of having to wade through the carpet of kelp to get to the sea
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk