Cancun Forecasts Worst Seaweed Sargassum Season In The Last 5 Years (Updated)

Cancun Forecast Shows Worst Seaweed Sargassum Season In The Last 5 Years 

Mexican federal officials expect the arrival of 32 thousand tons of sargassum seaweed in the country, a worrying statistic according to Admiral Rafel Ojeda, head of Mexico’s Secretary of the Navy (Semar).

Ojeda, who recently called the problem “alarming,” said that authorities are preparing for the largest amount of sargassum observed on Cancun beaches since 2018.

“The situation in the country, as described by the official: in Isla Mujeres, there is zero sargassum; in the municipality of Benito Juárez, on the Chac Mool beach, yesterday 5 percent was detected; in Puerto Morelos, on Pelicanos Beach, 20 percent; in Playa San Martin in Cozumel, 20 percent; in the municipality of Solidaridad, El Recodo beach, 30 percent; in Playa Maya in Tulum  it is where more arrivals of this algae have been reported, 40%; while in Othón P. Blanco, in El Mahahual, 15%.”

The latest update on seaweed in Cancun (21 July)

As of 21 July, the seaweed situation in Cancun is gradually improving as the seaweed season is ending soon.

Check the full map here

According to studies by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, sargassum was first detected on the coast of Quintana Roo in late 2014 and increased in 2015. By 2018, the volume was concerning, and then it decreased.

However, according to Ojeda, the stats projected today are much higher than at the peak in 2018.

″There is a forecast of about 32 thousand tons. We are working to prevent them from reaching the beaches and if they do, to collect them.”

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So far, 9,565 tons have arrived on Mexican beaches. Authorities have collected 9,467 on the coast and 97.7 in the sea.

The government has deployed a series of measures to fight the issue, especially in Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located and which has a higher number of visitors.

The Navy operates 11 seaweed collection vessels in the area, but records show that the amount gathered at sea is decreasing year after year.

In 2020, the Navy eradicated 4% of the sargassum in the water, but 96% was removed from the beaches. Last year, the number dropped to 3% and is now at 1% in 2022. Apparently, bad weather is hampering attempts.