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SARGASSUM - The giant brown seaweed, having shown that it can spread from North to South Atlantic oceans, could spread to the Indian and Pacific oceans as a potentially invasive species. The proof of which (as a theory) is satellite pictures, and changing wind states. The spread witnessed here, could just as easily migrate between oceans, and thence to the bays and seas within those oceans.






We are concerned that with the oceans warming at a faster rate than predicted, and with the spill over of sargassum from the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic, to create an Atlantic Equatorial sargassum gyre, that it is almost inevitable, and we might expect to see a South Atlantic sargassum gyre in the not too distant future, in proportion to insolation, since photosynthesis is the propagator of plant life.


If that comes to pass, and with the Indian and Pacific oceans also warming at the same rate as the Atlantic, so generating faster currents and winds; spillage around the horns could become a distinct possibility. In which case, the Gulf of Thailand could be a prime contender for a micro sargassum gyre. Dependent on location current circulation conditions. Or at least may suffer a similar fate to the Caribbean Sea, where the islands/shores therein suffer beaches strewn with mounds of sargassum, to ruin fishing, tourism and marine ecology.




The Gulf of Thailand, also known as the Gulf of Siam, is a shallow inlet in the southwestern South China Sea, bounded between the southwestern shores of the Indochinese Peninsula and the northern half of the Malay Peninsula. It is around 800 km (500 mi) in length and up to 560 km (350 mi) in width, and has a surface area of 320,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi). The gulf is surrounded on the north, west and southwest by the coastlines of Thailand (hence the name), on the northeast by Cambodia and the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, and opens to the South China Sea in the southeast.

The Gulf of Thailand is bordered by Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. It occupies a seabed area of 304,000 km2 from 6° N to 13°30' N latitude and 99°E to 104° E longitude.[9]: 250  The northern tip of the gulf is the Bay of Bangkok at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River. The southern boundary of the gulf is defined by a line from Cape Bai Bung in southern Vietnam (just south of the mouth of the Mekong River) to the town of Tumpat and Pengkalan Chepa on the Malaysian coast.

The gulf is relatively shallow: its mean depth is 58 metres (190 ft) and the maximum depth is only 85 metres (279 ft).  This makes water exchange slow, and the strong water inflow from the rivers reduce the level of salinity in the gulf (3.05–3.25 percent) and enriches the sediments. Only at greater depths does water with a higher salinity (3.4 percent) flow into the gulf from the South China Sea. It fills the central depression below a depth of 50 metres (160 ft). The main rivers which empty into the gulf are the Chao Phraya, including its distributary Tha Chin River, the Mae Klong, and Bang Pakong rivers at the Bay of Bangkok, and to a lesser degree the Tapi River flowing into Bandon Bay in the southwest of the gulf.

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the southern limit of the gulf as "[a] line running from the Western extreme of Cambodia or Camau Point (8°36'N) to the Northern extreme of the point on the East side of the estuary of the Kelantan River (6°14′N 102°15′E)".









The gulf's many coral reefs have made it attractive to divers. The tropical warmth of the water attracts many tourists. Some of the most important tourist destinations in the Gulf of Thailand are the islands of Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan in Surat Thani Province, Pattaya in Chonburi Province, Cha-am in Phetchaburi Province, Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, and Ko Samet in Rayong Province.

In recent years, the bay has become known for its whale watching activities, targeting the endemic, critically endangered populations of cetaceans (Eden's whales, newly described Omura's whales, Chinese white dolphins, and Irrawaddy dolphins showing unique feeding behaviors), and dugongs. It was first classified by Müller in 1776 as Trichechus dugon. Five species of the sea turtles have been found in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman sea coast, including olive ridley turtles, green turtles, hawksbill turtles, loggerhead turtles, and leatherback turtles.


There are 75,590 rai of coral reef in the gulf, of which five percent are considered to be in fertile condition. In 2010 severe coral bleaching occurred at most reef sites in the country. Bleaching of reefs in the Andaman Sea was more severe and extensive than that in the Gulf of Thailand. In 2016, coral bleaching was detected at Ko Thalu and Ko Lueam in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province for the first time. Scientists have determined that bleaching starts when seawater temperature rises beyond 30 °C for more than three weeks. Given the prolonged period of temperatures up to 32 °C at Ko Thalu in Prachuap Khiri Khan, five to ten percent of corals in the area are already bleached.










In February 2017, a 10 kilometer-long patch of plastic refuse was found floating off Chumphon Province. Thailand is among the world's worst plastic polluters. More than half of "land-based plastic waste leakage" into the sea originates from just five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Thai Marine and Coastal Resources Department has noted that at least 300 sea animals on average - 60 per cent of which are whales and dolphins - die from eating plastic fishing gear and trash each year. Filter feeding invertebrates tested off the coast of Chonburi Province showed high levels of microplastics, leading the authors to warn that, "Health risks are possible when people consume these contaminated marine organisms, particularly shellfish."

Thailand's Pollution Control Department (PCD) estimates that plastic waste in the country is increasing at an annual rate of 12 percent, or around two million tonnes per year.


Of Thailand's total marine catch, 41 percent is caught in the Gulf of Thailand and 19 percent in the Andaman Sea. Forty percent is caught in waters outside Thailand's EEZ.


Coastal water monitoring results in 2015 from 202 sampling locations, collected twice annually, indicate that no Thai coastal waters were found to be in excellent condition. Sixteen percent of coastal water was of good quality, 72 percent was of fair quality, 9 percent was of poor quality and 3 percent was of very poor quality. The quality of all coastal waters exhibited similar percentages — most were of fair quality — except for the Inner Gulf of Thailand, where the coastal water was poor to very poor.

In comparison to coastal water quality as measured in 2014, water quality has deteriorated.  Some gulf waters off Chachoengsao Province, Samut Sakhon Province, Samut Prakan Province, Bangkok, Rayong Province, Chonburi Province, Phetchaburi Province, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, and Surat Thani Province were judged to have coastal waters in "poor" or "very poor" condition.  Songkhla was the only province on the gulf with coastal water rated "good" quality.


Thailand has 1,660 kilometres of coastline bordering the gulf. "Severe erosion", more than five metres of coastline loss per year, afflicts 670 kilometres of that total. At least some of the erosion is attributable to the clearing of mangrove forests to make way for shrimp farms.


In 2013, a pipeline leak resulted in an oil slick that went on to coat a beach on the nearby Ka Samet island.

In late January 2022, a leak in the pipeline operated by the Star Petroleum Refining Public Company Ltd caused a spill of 20 to 50 tonnes across 47 sq km of water, with some oil reaching the coast of Rayong province 20 km away.




ABSTRACT : Four species of Sargassum are reported from the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand. They are Sargassum baccularia (Mertens) C.A. Agardh, S. binderi Sonder, S. oligocystum Montagne, and S. polycystum C.A. Agardh. The common species are S. binderi, S. oligocystum and S. polycystum distributed in all the study areas while S. baccularia has been found only in Chantaburi and Trat Province. S. baccularia is similar to
S. polycystum but lacks spines on the axis and secondary holdfast. S. polycystum has a secondary holdfast transformed from the primary branch on the stem. Of the three species reported, S. baccularia, S. binderi and S. oligocystum are new records for Thailand.

Most of the Sargassum species along the Thai-Malay Peninsula are found in the intertidal and shallow subtidal zone. Sargassum polycystum (Fig. 2D) is a dominant species in Sargassum forests and it maintains its wide distribution by sexual reproduction and recruitment by secondary holdfasts (Noiraksar and Ajisaka, 2008). Along the Thai-Malay Peninsula Sargassum plagiophyllum (Fig. 2C) is only known from the west coast north of Penang (Malaysia) where it is year-round the dominant Sargassum species.

Three species are widely distributed along the Thai-Malay Peninsula (Kantachumpoo et al., 2014;Noiraksa et al., 2006;Noiraksar and Ajisaka, 2008;Pongparadon et al., 2015Pongparadon et al., , 2017Wichachucherd et al., 2014;Wichachucherd and Prathep, 2013), whereas Padina sp. and S. plagiophyllum are limited to, respectively, the east and west coast. They may locally form dominant stands in the intertidal and shallow subtidal, providing habitat for many marine organisms.

Sargassum species (Fucales, Phaeophyceae) are widely distributed in temperate and tropical waters with the Indo-Malay Archipelago and Australia harboring the highest species diversity (Noiraksar and Ajisaka, 2008). Most of the Sargassum species along the Thai-Malay Peninsula are found in the intertidal and shallow subtidal zone.

ABSTRACT: Ten species of Sargassum (Sargassaceae, Phaeo-phyceae) were found along the Gulf of Thailand. Morpho-logical characteristics of Sargassum baccularia (Mertens) C.A. Agardh, S. binderi Sonder, S. cinereum J.G. Agardh, S.crassifolium J.G. Agardh, S. longifructum Tseng et Lu, S. oligocystum Montagne, S. polycystum C.A. Agardh, S. siliquosum J.G. Agardh, S. swartzii (Turner) C.A. Agardh and one unidentified species were examined and are described in detail. The most common species were S. polycystum distributed widely in almost all the study sites, S. crassifolium restricted to Prachuap Khirikhan Province, S. longifructum restricted to Chumphon Province, S. siliquosum restricted to Surat Thani Province and one unidentified species restricted to Songkhla Province. Three species (S. cinereum, S. longifructum and S. swartzii) are new records for the algal flora of Thailand. Five species (S. baccularia, S. cinereum, S. longifructum, S. polycystum and the unidentified species) belong to the section Zygocarpicae (J.G. Agardh) Setchell.




The North Atlantic Sargasso Sea is where sargassum originates and was contained for hundreds of years, until climate change and intensive farming. But should the unthinkable happen, and the invasive species take hold in the South Atlantic, from whence to spread it's biological advantage, one can imagine the dire consequences, perhaps mirroring that now ruining the Caribbean Sea. Make no mistake, the consequences of climate change and intensive, fertilizer based farming, could become a deadly world contagion, to make other epidemics seem insignificant, in terms of potential human tragedy.


An animal has a means to exhaust toxic waste, essential for a healthy lifestyle. The oceans have nowhere to dump the excrement we dump in it. They just get more polluted. Except for sargassum piling onto the shores, telling us that we have reached the limit.


So, what are the chances of it happening? Could there be a Sargasso Sea in the Gulf of Thailand, or belt, where the present welcoming waters are turned into a cesspit of foul smelling rotten seaweeds, as they release hydrogen sulphide gas to choke visitors to their shores.




That all depends on temperature rise of seawater, combined with nutrient supply, and circulating currents, including winds. All of which is measurable, for variable algorithmic computer simulations. As has been performed on the influx to the Caribbean Sea, via the equatorial Atlantic gyre, by scientists at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg's College of Marine Science, who used NASA satellite observations to discover and document the largest bloom of macroalgae. Others used Global Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model surface currents (HYCOM) (Chassignet et al., 2007) and National Centers for Environmental Prediction Reanalysis (NCEP), in their simulations.


But nobody has yet created a computer model of a SeaVax Calypso or Sargasso, used in various (fleet formations) to determine if such a concept could control volume escalation, before they grow to be profusely irrepressible. Indeed such simulations may help develop such concepts in terms of capacity and operations, that they may, or may not, contain the crisis, preventing a worldwide state of emergency - by nipping it in the bud.




At this stage of the formulation of his theory, the innovator is considering the awful prospect, based on the demonstrable and devastating spread of sargassum from the North Atlantic to the Equatorial South Atlantic, but not yet migrating to the more general south, due presumably, to temperatures not yet being to the liking of the buoyant seaweed.


The three major oceans are all interconnected via currents and driving winds. The main barrier to migration at present, is the temperature and level of nutrients, that is lower where the seaweed mats could pass from one to another. But that is by no means a hard point, as the melting of the polar caps indicates. We are living in changeable times, where the unthinkable is taking place, as a pace faster than previously supposed.


In other words, the impossible is rapidly becoming possible. And there is no containment system at present, to prevent that from happening; no international coordination, or action plan. A recipe for disaster you may think!




The sargassum crisis seen in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico could be just the beginning of a worldwide plague, stemming from our inability to curb political insatiability for fossil fuels - to power failing economic strategies, based on growth, when we have already used up the planet twice over, in sustainable terms.


The answer to failed political policies is very often a jolly good war, (Russia Vs Ukraine). When all cock-ups get thrown to the wind in the media scrum, and a whitewash ensues, until the next band of post-war cutthroats is elected, each with their hands in the pockets of Lucifer's climate change deniers. That said, it would take a nuclear conflict to reduce earth's population significantly enough to brake global warming - but then the planet would be barren and unable to support human life. Hence, an unthinkable solution to all but the most desperate of homicidal kleptocrats: warmongers.


But, ignoring thermonuclear first strikes for now, even if we transition to renewables immediately, global warming will not reverse for 30-50 years at best, and that is with a fair political wind. Meaning that the conditions for sargassum to populate welcoming equatorial waters (rich in nutrients) around the globe, remains a distinct possibility. Such as the:



Arabian Sea

Atlantic - North & South Equatorial

Banda Ceram Molucca & Timor Seas

Bay of Bengal

Celebes Sea

Gulf of Guinea

Gulf of Thailand

Indian Ocean

Java Sea

Pacific Ocean - North & South, Equatorial Belt (Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama regions)

Philippine Sea

South China Sea



Seas and oceans in these latitudes could become inundated with macro algae, if the rafts of floating seaweed manage to navigate less hospitable barriers, such as colder regions. Which at the moment, Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope appear to offer some protection from invasion.




This is a theory proposed by Nelson Kay (as a volunteer) in August of 2022, based on his work with the SeaVax team from 2016 - 2020. Though that exertion was mostly concerning micro and macro plastic recovery and river containment, the ocean engineering and logistical challenges posed by SeaVax are kindred concepts, and may be sympathetically adapted or even interchangeable to some degree. And may one day inspire others to devise a practical resolution.


Academics and scientific institutions inclined to test such thesis, or otherwise wishing to provide data or technological assistance, positive or negative, should please contact the Cleaner Ocean Foundation in the first instance. The aim being to prove or disprove the concept, to advance our knowledge in this little understood area of Oceanology/Oceanography. Students at all levels are most welcome, as are degree level students and post graduates looking to higher level qualifications, or simply to gain experience.


There are a million reasons for not doing something, and only one for taking up a challenge. Most people will use manifold negatives to sit back in their armchairs, and postulate. But, every now and again, someone is foolhardy enough to roll their sleeves up - and experiment - because they feel they must. Despite the enormity of the task. And that is how this website came about, in support of the SeaVax project in 2017.





Honduras, Caribean island with a tide of plastic, pictures by Caroline Power    



PLASTIC TIDE - These amazing pictures of a giant plastic tide were taken by Caroline Power. Please note how plastic and sargassum intertwine, creating a separation problem.










Antigua and Barbuda

Aruba (Netherlands)


British Virgin Islands

Caribbean Netherlands

Cayman Islands (UK)


Curaçao (Netherlands)


Dominican Republic (Hispaniola)


Guadeloupe (France) 
Haiti (Hispaniola)
Martinique (France) 
Puerto Rico (US) 


Saint Barthélemy

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia 

Saint Martin 

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sint Maarten (Netherlands)


Trinidad and Tobago

Turks and Caicos Islands
United States Virgin Islands 



















 This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. copyright © Cleaner Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774) August 2022. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom. COFL is a charity without share capital. The names AmphimaxRiverVax™ and SeaVax™ are trademarks.