Macroalgae have been painted with a broad brush as being inherently bad for the beautiful, vibrant, yet rapidly declining coral reef ecosystems across our planet. While the reputations that many of these underwater weeds have earned are well deserved and grounded in scientific understanding, the story is always more complex and nuanced than it first appears. Algae have taken quite the PR hit in recent decades, as tropical reefs, particularly those in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, have become overrun with these dense forests of brown, green and black marine plants. Not offering the same colourful beauty and habitat diversity of a thriving coral reef, it’s no wonder why they’ve come under such heavy fire from marine biologists and dive enthusiast. But there’s so much more to the story here.