Cancun Acquires New Vessels To Tackle A Massive Sargassum Seaweed Arrival

Cancun Acquires New Vessels To Tackle Sargassum Seaweed Arrival

In 2023, the Ministry of the Navy applied to the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit for funds to purchase 14 new vessels to combat the massive arrival of sargassum to the Quinta Roo’s coasts.

As a result, the government deposited US$ 738,945.20 between August and December 2023. This means that 14 new ships would have to start operations in 2024.

Until last year, the Quintana Roo Navy had one ocean-going, 11 coastal, and 13 smaller vessels, the latter of which had already completed their life cycle.

“These smaller vessels have been key for sargassum collection since they have specific characteristics to collect the algae near restricted areas where coastal vessels do not have access due to their dimensions,” a statement reads.

However, of the 13 ships available, three have been decommissioned. Experts have determined that it is impossible to keep them in service as the helmets pose a risk to the personnel operating them.

Of the remaining 10 ships, three work at 50% capacity because their gunwales are low and they are not optimal for sargassum collection. Furthermore, they do not have sufficient loading capacity.

The remaining seven are operating at 50% of their loading capacity, not to mention they have already reached the end of their life cycle.

This means that SEMAR will be combating sargassum with several restrictions until the new ships are operational.

“This causes the uncollected sargassum to decompose, polluting marine flora and fauna, posing a risk to human health and native ecosystems.” “When it rots, it releases acid, arsenic and other toxic substances that lead to the death of many turtles, octopuses and fish,” according to a document sent to the Ministry of Finance.

It has not yet been announced from which month of this year the new vessels will join the fight against sargassum.