Will There No Longer Be Sargassum On The Beaches Of Cancun In 2024?

Will There No Longer Be Sargassum On The Beaches Of Cancun In 2024?

Sargassum season in the Mexican Caribbean officially started the last week of March, more than two months after it began to pollute Quintana Roo’s beaches in 2023.

Local vendors reported that by the end of January 2023, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cancun beaches were buried under tons of the rather annoying seaweed.

But this year, even spring-breakers got to spot some of the most Instagram-worthy beaches in the world completely sargassum-free.

This unexpected phenomenon has made both tourists and locals wonder if this is the start of a steady reduction of sargassum over the upcoming months or years.

According to experts, the massive seaweed in Cancun and popular other parts of Mexican Caribbean coasts is caused by environmental and human factors, including but not limited to higher water temperatures, unfavorable ocean currents and a high wind speed, as well as an excess of nutrients poured into the waters by the agricultural industry.

Although Easter passed without major incidents, top experts warn the issue hasn’t gone anywhere

However, despite towns such as Tulum are bracing for the arrival of insane quantities of sargassum over the next few days, data suggest this year the final ton count could be lower than in previous seasons.

Factors contributing to the apparent decline of sargassum in 2024 include changes in ocean currents and advantageous weather conditions, which have a direct impact on the quantity and distribution of the algae in the ocean.

According to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, when this algae reproduction is under control, it serves as a natural habitat for some important marine species, as well as food, shade and shelter for crabs, fish, shrimp, and turtles.

Committed to maintaining beaches pristine, the Secretary of the Navy works non-stop to trap and collect the algae right in the sea before it washes ashore, where the shallow waters of Cancun allow it to grow even bigger.

Recently, the Secretary of the Navy’s Gulf and Caribbean Oceanography Institute updated its sargassum alert category to two, “very low” from one, “low”.

Renowned beaches like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Xcacel will see increased levels of sargassum starting this week.