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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, Wednesday, July 27, 2022. A record amount of seaweed is smothering Caribbean coasts from Puerto Rico to Barbados as tons of brown algae kill wildlife, choke the tourism industry and release toxic gases. (AP Photo/Kofi Jones)
Lakes Beach is covered in sargassum in St. Andrew along the east coast of Barbados, Wednesday, July 27, 2022. A record amount of seaweed is smothering Caribbean coasts from Puerto Rico to Barbados as tons of brown algae kill wildlife, choke the tourism industry and release toxic gases. (AP Photo/Kofi Jones)
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San Juan, Puerto Rico (AP) -- 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.