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Latest Study Suggests Less Sargassum On Cancun Beaches In 2023

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Travelers headed to Cancun will be relieved to hear that a recent report has suggested that there will be less sargassum invading its beaches this year compared to last year. The stinky seaweed has long since been a plague on the beaches of Cancun and the wider region, proving to be a problem that’s not only unsightly but unpredictable and hard to deal with properly. This year though, as Cancun looks to break travel records for the second consecutive year, its days of plaguing the beach may well be over. 

sargassum on beach

With a renewed focus on keeping the beaches pristine and trash free, coupled with these recent reports that less sargassum is expected to wash up than in previous years, 2023 is shaping up to be a great year in Cancun for beach lovers in particular. Here’s everything we know so far about the sargassum reports, plus a reminder of how Cancun is set to keep beaches in tip-top shape throughout the year. 

wheelbarrow sargassum clean up beach

Sargassum In Cancun – What Travelers Should Know

After spending vast amounts of money to enjoy a trip to the beach, the last thing a traveler wants to go through is the vibe-ruining experience of putting up with a stinky, slimy seaweed taking their well-earned spot on the sand. Unfortunately for many travelers from around the world, that’s exactly what they experienced last year, as the levels of sargassum on beaches throughout the entire Mexican Caribbean reached shocking highs, ruining the vacations for thousands of travelers. 

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sargassum beach close up

Sargassum is a type of brown algae that frequently washes up on the shores of Cancun and several countries throughout the Caribbean. While it is mostly harmless to humans (aside from tiny sea creatures that can irritate the skin), its pungent smell – which has been compared to rotting eggs – and unsightly nature can be a real holiday killer, as it leaves travelers unable to enjoy the beaches without having their senses invaded by its presence. Thankfully, however, that could be about to change. 

sarassum worker beach

Last week, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that a lower amount of sargassum is expected to hit the beaches of the Mexican Caribbean. The announcement was made following studies conducted by the National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Inapesca) and the Interdisciplinary Center for Marine Sciences (Cicimar), which have been studying the behavior and biomass of two different types of the stinky seaweed for some time now. 

bulldozer tractor with sargassum on beach

After analyzing the data compiled on sargassum, the two bodies concluded that this year’s levels of the algae would be lower than the previous year, closer to the lower averages reported in 2019. However, it was also pointed out that the prevalence of the substance also depends a lot on the behavior of ocean currents, so the local governments should continue to take preventative measures to limit its arrival on the beaches. 

Bags of sargassum being cleared from a local Cancun beach

Several preventative measures have already been taken by towns along the Mexican Caribbean. A wide range of tactics is utilized, from the construction of barriers out at sea to deploying teams of workers designated with collecting the substance. With sargassum season almost upon us, news that the levels are expected to be lower will come as a relief to travelers, locals, and business owners, who were fearing a repeat of last year’s onslaught of the seaweed once more.

Workers Cleaning Sargassum from Playa del Carmen Beach wit wheelbarrows and shovels.

However, it’s not just sargassum that is a concern on beaches in Cancun and the surrounding towns, but garbage too. With the garbage situation reaching breaking points during the last year as passenger numbers swelled exponentially, the local government introduced several measures to help keep the matter under control. Fortunately, it was revealed last week that the authorities will be utilizing the same methods that remedied the situation last year once again, so travelers can look forward to the spotless, picture-perfect beaches they have come to expect from Cancun. 

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Tuesday 31st of January 2023

I can tell you its already a problem in the area below Cancun. Lots of it coming in with the south east winds. I am here year round and never saw it so early. I have real doubts about this story, sounds like promotional writing.


Tuesday 31st of January 2023