As global sea temperatures are on the rise, toxic blooms of micro-algae have been spotted in Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Spain’s Canary Islands. The local authorities have warned tourists to avoid these greenish-brown blooms or they might come out of the water scratching themselves after brushing up against the tiny algae.
“Since the end of June we have seen episodes of massive efflorescence, or bloom, of microalgae, sometimes reaching as far as bathing beaches,” said Jose Juan Aleman, director of public health for the Canaries.
The bacterium “contains a toxin which can lead to skin irritation, dermatitis, hence one must avoid coming into contact with it in the water and on the sand”. With the islands last year welcoming more than 13 million foreign tourists, local authorities were keen to reassure sun-seekers.