The massive seaweed bloom that was expected to hit Florida earlier this year has significantly decreased in size, according to a report from the University of South Florida’s Optical Oceanography Lab. In October, there was an estimated 150,000 metric tons of sargassum seaweed in the Caribbean Sea throughout the month. However, much of it had dissipated by the end of October, and there was very little sargassum overall in the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly half of the sargassum in the Central Atlantic was situated west of the African coast.
Scientists believe that these abundances are much smaller compared to recent years, even for this time of year. They also indicated that if there is going to be a new sargassum bloom for 2024, the first indications will appear in December. The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, a mass of seaweed stretching from Africa to the Gulf of Mexico, caused concern earlier this year when scientists were worried about its potential impact on Florida beaches. However, with significant decreases in size and less concern for its presence on beaches now alleviated, researchers are closely monitoring the situation for any further updates or changes.