When I was I child, I used to go with my parents to Jurata at the Hel peninsula. I don’t remember much. Running around in the woods, looking for amber and finding bubbly brownish seaweed on the beach. I almost forgot about the seaweed. Why would I remember it? Seaweed is seaweed. It’s everywhere. Or at least, it was everywhere.
These days I also relatively often go to Hel. I no longer run around in the woods, I rather stroll, but I’m still interested in what can be found on the beach. I even managed to find amber in a spot where you’re not supposed to normally find it and a few rusty coins. But there is almost no bladderwrack (the seaweed, or algae’s actual name) in the Polish Baltic Sea anymore. It felt weird to find that out. After all I’m not that old, yet I remember from childhood something that no longer exists. The world is changing, of course. New blocks of flats and supermarkets are being built. At this very moment a new house is being built next to mine and is going to block my view of the river. I understand why. People have to live somewhere. But who did the bladderwrack bother?
There are various theories. Some of them became extinct, because the Baltic Sea is becoming more and more polluted and less and less transparent. Some of them were pulled out of the sea to be used in the production of cosmetics. Mrs. Bogumiła thanks to a supplement made of bladderwrack lost 26,5 kg in two months. Also swans and crustaceans like eating seaweed. No wonder – they contain lots of minerals and iodine. But because of all this they are no longer in the Baltic. They were here, and now they’re not. They will remain in my childhood memories and on the list of endangered species. It feels weird.