Once again, the recurring occurrence of microalgae has put a significant portion of the Canary Islands on alert this summer. This intermittent phenomenon, showing no signs of abating, has surged vigorously at various points along the coastline. In recent days, it has shown particular intensity in Arico and Granadilla de Abona, leading to the implementation of precautionary measures.
On Tuesday, both areas were particularly affected, witnessing the emergence of vast expanses of discolored, malodorous water and foam, causing concern among beachgoers and local authorities alike.
While the situation in the latter location appeared clearer, some visible spots lingered in the stretch between La Jaquita and Montaña Pelada.
To address the situation, Arico issued a mayoral decree advising against sea use, while Granadilla took an even more stringent approach by enforcing an outright prohibition. As of now, both decisions remain in effect, pending the outcome of ongoing water analyses.
Microalgae in different parts of Tenerife and other islands
Similar occurrences have been observed along the coastlines of Tenerife and other islands of the archipelago in recent weeks. Microalgae outbreaks were spotted on the Las Vistas beach (Arona), the southern region of La Gomera, and Las Canteras (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria). Although the foul appearance and unpleasant smell have raised concerns, experts emphasize that these occurrences are not toxic or harmful discharges. This recurring phenomenon is not new and has persisted every summer in recent years.
Officials from the municipal councils of Arico and Granadilla de Abona collected seawater samples impacted by the microalgae. The results of these tests were still pending at the time of reporting. In light of this, mayors Olivia Delgado and Jennifer Miranda of the respective councils stated that they would wait for the results before lifting the bathing restrictions. Their priority lies in safeguarding the well-being of beachgoers and coastal users.
In response to the situation, Miranda noted, “According to initial analyses, water quality is excellent, and all indications point to microalgae without health risks.” Delgado explained, “According to the local police inspection later in the day, the presence of microalgae is hardly noticeable. We have collected samples and, as a precautionary measure, will wait before lifting the advisory against swimming.”
The Arico Town Hall elucidated the decision to advise against swimming due to “microalgae, identified by abnormal water color changes marked by brown and brownish hues, along with their viscous texture and strong odor. This safety recommendation has been issued by the Mayor’s Office.” Mayoress Olivia Delgado emphasized the municipality’s commitment to preventive measures and better beach enjoyment. The council will continue monitoring the situation and providing updates on coastal conditions.