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Mexican Navy To Step In To Combat Sargassum Near Cancun This Spring

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With the start of the sargassum season quickly approaching, local officials have announced the deployment of additional resources from the Mexican Navy this spring to help keep beaches clean.

a popular beach in cancun covered in sargassum

According to the country’s navy, up to 14 sargassum vessels will soon be deployed to the shores of the Mexican Caribbean to help combat the smelly seaweed and to prevent it from washing up on shore.

Based on the latest estimates, the Mexican Caribbean is expected to see as much sargassum as last year, prompting officials to invest heavily in new technologies to impede the macroalgae from affecting the region.

@mariakangfitness Do you believe in climate change? #vacaymode #cancunmexico #climatechange ♬ original sound – Lupita Olmos🩴

With beaches currently in splendid condition, here’s the latest on what officials are doing to stop sargassum this spring.

Deployment Of Mexican Navy Ships To Help Combat Sargassum 

Sargassum seaweed is a major headline-grabbing topic each year for Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean, and 2024 is no exception. With the latest satellite imagery showing growing amounts of seaweed approaching beaches across the region, officials are rushing to put in place measures to protect local shores. 

This week, Cancun officials revealed more details about a plan to begin using vessels belonging to the Mexican Navy to augment the effectiveness of regional efforts to shield beaches from sargassum.

@ahoyvacations Cancun is a great place for a vacation but did you know some areas have a lot of sargassum over the summer? This year it started as early as April! #cancunvacation #allinclusiveresort #familyvacation #summervacation #travelwithkids #beachvacation @Bianca | Travel Agency Owner ♬ original sound – Bianca | Destination Weddings

According to the Secretariat for the Navy, up to 14 specialized vessels will be deployed starting this year, most likely by spring, when sargassum levels are at their highest

The plan is part of a wider effort by the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo to keep sargassum at bay. The hugely popular region is one of the most affected states by sargassum seaweed, with thousands of tons of the foul-smelling macroalgae washing up on its shores yearly. 

@mtinatravels What is the seaweed and sargassum actually like in Cancun / Riviera Maya? Here is what its like right now. This can change daily or by the hour even! Don’t let it deter you from your trip- each resort has wonderful pools even if the beach has too much seaweed! #traveladvisor #cancun #secretsakumal ♬ original sound – Martina | Travel Advisor

And with a record number of travelers expected to set foot in the sunny destination this year, new efforts will help make Cancun’s beaches cleaner than ever. 

This year, local officials will work closely with national authorities in coordinating measures to clean up sargassum. The Mexican Navy operates a handful of vessels designed specifically for that purpose. But unlike last year, in 2024, the Mexican Caribbean will benefit from state-of-the-art ships that can remove tons of sargassum daily.

@oneflylife Sargassum notmally appears from April-October. Ask about sargassum free beaches ! #traveltips #travtiktok #travelbeaches #beaches #sargassum #cancunmexico #fypシ ♬ Stolen Dance (Instrumental) – Milky Chance

Most ships used for collecting sargassum were decommissioned last year after significant wear and tear due to their extended lifecycle. But with new investment of up to 12.6 million pesos, new ships will be retrofitted with sargassum collecting technology. 

In addition to the deployment of newer vessels, a number of resort hotspots across the Mexican Caribbean have hired more cleaners to boost preparedness ahead of the start of the sargassum season. 

@mybeepy Best time to go to Cancun without seaweed (sargazo or sargassum) and the top 3 beaches to visit #cancun #travel #mexicotravel ♬ sonido original – Beepy

Meanwhile, Playa del Carmen will deploy a sargassum barrier this spring, most likely by March. One of the most affected cities by sargassum, the city has significantly stepped up pre-emptive measures to combat the yearly phenomenon. 

While sargassum seaweed has the potential to wreak havoc on beaches across the Mexican Caribbean, locations in the south of the sunny region typically see a higher quantity of the macroalgae compared to northern hotspots. 

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The popular islands of Isla Mujeres and Holbox are some of the best destinations for travelers seeking sargassum-free beaches.

While Isla Mujeres is known for its excellent beach cleaning policies, Holbox has natural features – such as sand dunes and mangroves – that protect the island from sargassum, making the island one of the best-protected locations. 

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