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Cancun & Mexican Caribbean Hotspots Hiring More Staff To Fight Sargassum Invasion This Year

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The good news is that sargassum season has yet to start in earnest this year in the Mexican Caribbean.

However, the bad news is that many experts believe that a greater return of the algae is actually right around the corner later in February.

Man cleaning Sargassum in Playa del Carmen

Because of this, beach officials in Cancun are actually gearing up for the peak sargassum season by bulking up their cleaning staff now before the conditions get bad on the local beaches of the beach resort destination.

Ready For a Rough Season

“This month we expect a large arrival of sargassum, but hey, we are prepared for that,” said Federal Maritime-Terrestrial Zone (Zofemat) Director Adrián Medina Pérez, in a recent media interview on the topic.

Nonetheless, Playa del Carmen beach officials did not waste any time preparing for the season and instead moved forward by hiring 100 new sargassum workers last month to start the new year.

A worker cleaning sargassum from a public beach in cancun

They anticipate a high turnover in sargassum cleaning workers, so they are continuously hiring to ensure the beaches are clean for international visitors, especially during the upcoming peak spring holiday travel season.

“The plan is that more will be hired, as soon as the season starts and this begins to normalize and additional people who want to work also begin to arrive,” Medina added. “We are already receiving sargassum mixed with red algae. So far we have lifted 328 tons this year [2024].”

In fact, the University of South Florida oceanographers have determined that there is a large mass of sargassum heading towards the shores of the Mexican Caribbean and is expected to hit sometime this month.

What Exactly is Sargassum?


Commonly thought of as seaweed, Sargassum is actually a brown algae that grows in the ocean. It bobs and floats in the water and never actually anchors itself to the sea floor.

It travels in the ocean as a large mass and finds its way to the shores of the Mexican Caribbean, where it is deposited on the beach.

It is unsightly on the beaches and has an unpleasant odor as it decomposes in the sand.

Sargassum in Chak Mol Beach, Cancun

Large patches can overwhelm tropical beaches if the sargassum is not continuously picked up and disposed of.

That’s why tourist beach destinations like Cancun hire dozens of workers continuously during the sargassum season to make sure it does not negatively impact the tourist experience.

What Tourists Need to Know

Beautiful Beach in Cancun, Mexico

Most travelers to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean will consider the influx of sargassum as unsightly and bad-smelling.

That’s why Cancun and the other parts of the region are quickly staffing up to control the issue in anticipation of what is considered to be a rather bad season of sargassum.

Tourist experiences while enjoying their vacation getaway to Cancun and other parts of the Mexican Caribbean are of the utmost importance to local, state, and federal officials.

A surfer walks on a beach in Cancun

Travelers can expect to see workers continuously laboring throughout the season to ensure the beaches are as clean as possible for their safety and security. If there are some places on the sand that need some cleaning, visitors are requested to ask a local lifeguard on duty for assistance.

With the spring holiday travel season right around the corner, plans are in place to ensure that tourists visiting the beach resort destinations of Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean have the best sun, sand, and surf for their vacation getaway.

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