Brown seaweed buries Las Canteras beach after weather warning
A brown blanket of seaweed has appeared on Las Canteras beach over the last few days, after storms and bad sea conditions following the weather warning. The strong storm at sea has caused the arrival of algae that has covered the shore and part of the dry area of the large beach in Gran Canaria.
The Las Palmas City Council has started to remove it, in a sustainable manner, and 15 tons of the algae have already been taken to the Salto del Negro landfill.
The cleaning work will continue in the early hours of the day over the next few days after high tide, which has made it difficult for trucks to access the beach.
Although a lot has already been removed, people are advised not to walk on the seaweed as it is slippery and has left a bad smell that is lingering along the coastline. Biologist Fernando Tuya points out that this is brown algae (Lobophora variegata), "which is common at this time of year."
It is a common algae in the north of Gran Canaria, being present in puddles and bays almost ninety metres deep. The first winter storms are the cause of these tides of algae, coinciding with the end of their life cycle.
According to the Arribazones study of algae and marine plants in Gran Canaria, carried out by Eduardo Portillo, a researcher at the Technological Institute of the Canary Islands (ITC), around 1,200 tons are deposited on the shore of Las Canteras beach every year, but they are not usually noticed in the same way as it is spread out over the year, whereas this ‘large deposit’ is in one go.
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