“If you stay several minutes, you will give up your life”: green algae, an endless plague on this Breton beach

The barriers blocking access to the beach have been there for six months now. A very sad record: the green algae drag on and the white sand beach of Hillion, in the bay of Saint-Brieuc, now looks like a pestilential swamp. “It hurts my heart, because we used to swim in the beginning. Now it’s been years since we don’t do it anymore“, launches a woman interviewed by TF1 in the report at the top of this article.”The smells are not pleasant. At high tide, we don’t smell, but at low tide, it’s hellish“, emphasizes another.

André Ollivro has been fighting against green algae for 20 years. This whistleblower claims to have never seen that: “In winter, this is the first time that there is so much green algae. The flora and fauna have disappeared, the rocks are bare now, there are no more periwinkles … What shocks me is that all this is preventing marine biodiversity from developing“. And this green tide is also potentially toxic to humans.”We must not stay there, indicates André Ollivro to the TF1 team after consulting his gas detector. There was a production of hydrogen sulfide, this very toxic gas, and if you stay several minutes, you lose your life.“.

Green algae proliferate when it is not picked up. In one day, it redevelops three times its surface. The mayor of Hillion assures us that the town is doing everything possible on the beaches. “The collection, it is done daily, explains Mickaël Cosson (various centers). On a rocky area you obviously cannot go with a tractor. And on a muddy area, you’re going to sink into it. This is why we end up with collection difficulties.

Green algae traditionally occur with high temperatures. The inhabitants fear a new surge in the spring …

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