Record amount of seaweed is choking shores in the Caribbean

Lakes Beach is covered in sargassum in St. Andrew along the east coast of Barbados on July 27.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Near-record amounts of seaweed are smothering Caribbean coasts from Puerto Rico to Barbados, killing fish and other wildlife, choking tourism and releasing stinky, noxious gases.

More than 24 million tons of sargassum blanketed the Atlantic in June, shattering the all-time record, set in 2018, by 20%, according to the University of South Florida’s Optical Oceanography Lab. And unusually large amounts of the brown algae have drifted into the Caribbean Sea.

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