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Quintana Roo Shoreline Sargassum Update

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The current sargassum seaweed reality along the coastlines of Quintana Roo has drastically improved in comparison to earlier this year.

Since the start of March 2021, over 43,300 tons of sargassum have been collected from beaches in Quintana Roo. 

The Mexican Navy Secretariat (Semar) recently reported that none of the state’s seven beach municipalities are currently being negatively affected by large amounts of seaweed. Out of those seven beach municipalities, only two are receiving moderate amounts of seaweed, while the other 5 are receiving low levels. This is incredible news after months of battling high amounts of sargassum along the coastline.

Municipalities with current low levels of seaweed

  • Tulum
  • Playa del Carmen (Solidaridad)
  • Puerto Morelos
  • Isla Mujeres
  • Lázaro Cárdenas

There are dedicated beach cleaning staff for each municipality that takes care of removing any seaweed that shows up on the shorelines. Even though Cozumel, Mahahual, and Chetumal do not get the same level of ongoing care from authorities, the beaches are in great shape and the arrival of seaweed has been in minimal quantities – especially in comparison to earlier months.

Nasa and the Sargasso Monitoring Network of Quintana Roo have been actively monitoring the ongoing sargassum situation long before the seaweed actually arrived at shorelines. According to scientific data collected from Nasa, there were 5.1 million metric tons of Sargassum seaweed blanketing the sea, some of which ended up spread out across Mexican Caribbean shorelines – creating a record-breaking year for sargassum in the region.

Keeping a handle on the situation to ensure that the beautiful white sandy beaches have been kept in pristine shape is an ongoing priority for all organizations involved.

Resort workers, as well as local authorities, have used tractors to collect the seaweed while trucks hauled away loads of brown, stinky seaweed from the coastlines as well as special seaweed harvesting ships just off the coast working on the barriers in the water.

Although authorities have been fighting tirelessly all season to do all they can to remove the foul-smelling seaweed, tourists have been very vocal over the appearance and smell of the seaweed that accumulated across the ever so beautiful Mexican Caribbean beaches. Scientists believe the growing seaweed problem is due to global warming, so it has been an overall team effort in the Quintana Roo area to get the right procedures and protocols in order to stay on top of this yearly battle.

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