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Sargassum seaweed warning raised to ‘level 3’



Sargassum Seaweed Alert Raised To Level 3 - Yellow In The Mexican Caribbean

The latest bulletin from the Secretariat of the Mexican Navy, issued on May 11, raises the sargassum alert for the northern part of Quintana Roo. “Level 3 – Yellow,” due to the massive arrival of the algae in recent days and a negative forecast for the coming days.

Meanwhile, Quintana Roo reported Sargassum Monitoring Network (RDMS). the detection of 7,400 tons of sargassum (5,000 square kilometers) floating in the sea, 100 km east of the Guanaja and Roatan Islands, on their way to the state’s beaches from the Honduran Caribbean.

Trajectories and speeds calculated by simulation models show that a large part of that sargassum will wash up on the northern beaches of Quintana Roo within a few weeks.

“Main geostrophic ocean currents and dominant winds, running from east to west, will drag this sargassum into the waters of the Mexican Caribbean in the coming weeks,” said RDMS.

“This massive accumulation of macroalgae will periodically arrive on our beaches over about two weeks, sometimes with large arrivals, especially in the southern zone of the state,” they added.

seaweed on the island of Cozumel
Sargassum seaweed on the island of Cozumel

Beachgoers are urged to observe the ‘colour warning’ and take into account safety conditions for beach activities such as swimming when sargassum is present in the waters and on land.

Solidaridad, home to the resort of Playa del Carmen, has been hit hard by the macroalgae, especially in the central area. The Federal Directorate of Maritime-Terrestrial Zone carries out daily beach cleaning in an attempt to solve the problem.

But the Mexican Caribbean isn’t the only tropical destination affected. Neighboring countries such as Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and southern Florida are waging their own battle against sargassum.

Like Mexico, the Dominican Republic is also installing anti-sargassum barriers in the open sea to prevent the algae from reaching otherwise pristine beaches.

For its part, the Riviera Maya Hotel Association (AHRM) continues to develop strategies to get rid of sargasso in the most productive way.

According to the entity, hoteliers are trying to convert the seaweed into a sustainable commercial product while reducing the financial burden of cleaning beaches daily.

According to experts, the overproduction of sargassum can have a negative impact on coastal ecosystems, tourism and public health when left unchecked on beaches. This phenomenon is known as a flooding event.

Data collected by authorities shows that approximately 300,000 tons of sargassum will arrive on Mexican beaches in 2024. breaking the records of the past few years.

Stay informed about the sargassum situation by joining our FB group Mexico Sargassum seaweed updates (Cancun, PDC, Tulum, etc.)