Sickened tourists are fleeing beaches in southern Spain after a new invasion of revolting-smelling algae along the southern coast.
The putrid invader – named rugulopteryx okamurae – is understood to have arrived from Asia in the ballast tanks of cargo ships.
The invasion has spread along the Canos de Meca beach in the southern Spanish province of Cadiz making it unusable for holidaymakers and visitors, reports local media.
Local hotel owners complain that many tourists are simply cancelling their bookings rather than risk putting up with the noxious niff.
Tonnes of algae have been spotted in the coastal sand which gives off a horrific stench as it decomposes, according to local media.
The algae began arriving a few years ago but has increased massively thanks to rising sea temperatures.
Eco expert Lola Yllescas – from the organisation Verdemar Ecologistas en Accion – told local media that the problem is spreading along the coast and Gibraltar Strait.
The algae – which prefers rocky beaches where it can take hold more easily – has no natural predators so can spread rapidly, explained Yllescas.
Local fishermen are also hit by the invasion as the algae gets tangled in their nets.
The political party PSOE in Barbate claimed that a lot of tourists are leaving the beaches due to the invasive algae and the bad smell that it causes.
Coastal community officials say they are using tractors and diggers to try to clean up the beaches.