Lagoa Chamber to clean «300 cubic meters» of algae in Praia do Carvoeiro

Cleanup operation is about to begin

Tons of algae invade the sands of Praia do Carvoeiro – Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

The sandy beach of Praia do Carvoeiro is covered with tons of brown seaweed, washed up by the ocean waves in the first days of this week. The Lagoa Chamber is already preparing the cleaning operation.

O Sul Informação found that, deposited on the sand and even preventing the access of bathers and boats to the sea, will be "300 cubic meters" of this seaweed, most likely an invasive species of Asian origin that arrived in the Algarve this summer, having already affected beaches throughout the Windward.

This time, brought on by the storm resulting from the extratropical cyclone Danielle, the phenomenon mainly affected the beaches of Carvoeiro, Vale Centeanes, Caneiros and Pintadinho, on the coast of Lagoa, as well as the eastern part of Praia da Rocha, already in Portimão.

Despite the protests that soon invaded social networks, with the image of tons of brown seaweed being shared across Europe, as Carvoeiro is still full of tourists, the truth is that it is a natural event.


A person, in a sea of ​​algae – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


The Lagoa Chamber, which, as part of the recent transfer of powers, became responsible for coastal management, is already finalizing preparations for a mega cleaning operation, "although it is a natural phenomenon, aggravated by the fact that is due to an invasive species and the same scenario is seen throughout the coast of the Algarve and Spain», guaranteed Luís Encarnação, president of the municipality.

"We are, however, having great difficulties taking into account the dimension" of the problem, added the mayor, in statements to the Sul Informação.

«We estimate that the total amount of algae deposited on Praia de Carvoeiro is around 300 cubic meters. In addition, it is not possible to introduce machines in Praia. Anyway, another great challenge!», lamented Luís Encarnação.

300 cubic meters of algae represent around 30 trucks that will have to be loaded, just from Praia do Carvoeiro, in an operation that could take a few days. But we still need to know where to deposit all this organic matter.

In Carvoeiro, the intense smell of the decomposition of tons of brown macro algae can already be felt in the vicinity of the beach, which is in the center of the village. This morning, on the beach, enjoying the fleeting sun, there were few people, as the algae make it difficult and very uncomfortable to get to the water.

«Fortunately, we have many tourists here, as you can see from the esplanade, which is full. But this algae thing is scaring people away, especially if it starts to stink. I know it's not the House's fault. but they have to do something and quickly", said the manager of one of the bars in Carvoeiro to Sul Informação.

Confirming that it is algae Rugulopteryx okamurae, an invasive species originating in the seas of Korea/Japan, this algae is not toxic to humans, but is already threatening the biodiversity of marine ecosystems, namely in the Azores, but soon also on the Algarve coast.

In the Algarve, in July, fishermen from Barlavento complained that the seaweed is also causing them great damage, by clinging to fishing nets.


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação