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Thousands KILLED BY SARGASSUM

Thousands KILLED BY SARGASSUM
July 27
09:08 2018
Reporter: News Staff, July 26th. 2018, -

A major fish kill was reported early on Thursday morning near the Banyan Bay Resort on San Pedro Ambergris Caye, where residents were shocked to see thousands of dead fish of various species washed up along the shoreline.

The incredible occurrence is starting to become a regular issue for islanders, and it is reportedly caused by the piles of seaweed which use up the oxygen that fish need to breathe. According to researchers, while in its decay stage the sargassum plant releases toxic gases into the water, causing a rapid depletion of oxygen for fishes resulting in their deaths.

The seasonal occurrence has been a major concern for the San Pedro Town Council, islanders and the business community since not only does the sargassum release a foul smell during its decaying stage, but fish kills have become more common.

Speaking on behalf of the San Pedro Town Council on Thursday, former journalist Jorge Aldana explained that in order to mitigate the situation, over the past months the Council has concentrated its efforts in residential areas and along public beaches and has increased its manpower to collect the dead fish and sargassum. In many cases, additional personnel have had to be deployed.

The Council has also reportedly engaged community members and tourism stakeholders who are also doing their part to assist by conducting their own personal beach cleanup.

According to Aldana, there is no fighting the situation, a view already accepted by hoteliers and business owners who have started to budget for the yearly occurrence as well as to come up with creative ideas such as setting out nets to catch the sargassum before it reaches the shoreline and settles.

Aldana further added that over the months the Council has issued cautions to the public and tourists through flyers and social media posts to inform them to exercise caution in the affected areas because inhaling the excess toxic gases may cause dizziness, itching and other health issues.

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