Discouraging forecast for the Mexican Caribbean

According to the monthly reports of the Optical Oceanography Laboratory of the School of Marine Sciences of the University of South Florida, intended to provide an overview of the current flowering condition and the probability of future flowering of sargassum for the Caribbean Sea, the conditions for this 2019, are greater than those of last year for the uptake of these marine algae.

Image result for sargasso cancun

Through the reports made by this University of the United States, based on the scientific studies, it was established that in January 2019, sargassum’s total coverage of 344 km2 was shown, compared to a historical average of 32 km2 between 2011 and 2017

Image result for sargasso playa del carmen
Playa Del Carmen

The Sargasso Surveillance System based on the satellite of the University of South Florida warns that 2019, will be on a larger scale, which has alerted authorities at the Caribbean countries, including Mexico.

Playa Del Carmen

In the report for the month of January (February is still in the process of integration) the extension of flowering in 2019 is still significantly greater than in most of the years from 2011 to 2018 for the Caribbean and the Central West Atlantic. For this reason, they point out that this 2019 is likely to be another important flowering year and for which, the corresponding measures must be taken to address said overflow.

These seaweeds, which float on huge mats in the open waters, do not have a specific trajectory indicating which beach or which country it will particularly arrive to, since it depends a lot on conditions such as winds and tides.

They mention that the area from which the sargasso comes is called the Sargasso Sea, which is not a true sea, but an area far from the coast in the Atlantic Ocean, between the east coast of Florida and Bermuda.

Image result for sargasso tulum

The Sargasso Sea and the sargasso layers that float inside are defined by the dominant oceanic currents: the Gulf Stream to the west, the North Atlantic Stream to the north, the Canary Current to the east and the Atlantic Equatorial Current North to the south, which creates a twist that contains the floating sargassum which gets caught in one of the currents and escapes from the Sargasso Sea.

Government vows to continue Riviera Maya sargasso battle

Government vows to continue Riviera Maya sargasso battle

 Officials from Cancun to Tulum continue to fight the issue of sargasso that has begun to arrive on state beaches.

The continual abundance of the sea weed remains a critical issue for the state as the sargasso slowly returns to the region.

Playa del Carmen mayor Laura Beristain is one of the officials who participated in a recent meeting with businessmen and environmental scientists to discuss alternative methods to control the sargasso.

Photo: Riviera Maya News — Centro Playa del Carmen

Governor Carlos Joaquín González was also at the meeting along with the Federal Secretary of Tourism, Miguel Torruco, to discuss the problem and attempt to find a solution.

“The management of sargasso is an issue that concerns us all. It is important to establish better control strategies every day for this environmental phenomenon,” Torruco explained.

Laura Beristain also stressed the importance of maintaining constant communication and meetings to find solutions that can be effective in the short, medium and long terms as well as financially feasible.

She says that the municipality of Solidaridad has participated in the analysts of 13 projects which were presented in January to counteract the seaweed reaching municipal shores.

Councilor of the Hotel Association of Cancun, José Chapur emphasized that what is definitive is that there will not be one single company that can take care of the sargasso from Tulum to Punta Cancun.

Photo: Riviera Maya News — Rolls of sea mesh

“You have to see which companies can qualify and which are open to guarantee results because there are many that have come and put a mesh in the sea and the mesh cannot support the amount of arriving sargasso,” he explained.

Officials from Puerto Morelos have also been discussing ways to win the battle against the unwanted seaweed. President of the Hotel Association of Cancun and Puerto Morelos, Roberto Cintrón says that they continue to work on ways to deal with the sargasso, and that all the experiments done in the zone were presented based on trial and error.

Photo: Riviera Maya News — Centro Puerto Morelos
Photo: Riviera Maya News — Playa Santa Fe at Tulum

Meetings are being held between all levels of government after an environmental forecast foresaw a larger amount of sargasso heading for the region this season.

The latest anti-sargasso meeting was headed by Secretary Miguel Torruco who presented and approved an action plan that sustains short, medium and long term measures to face this problem, noting that the arrival of seaweed affects not only tourism, but also the marine and coastal ecosystems since decaying sargasso is very acidic.

Source: The Yucatan Times, Riviera Maya News

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