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Authorities acknowledge Playa del Carmen hit hardest by sargassum

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Authorities have recognized the unusual sargassum season experienced along the coast of Quintana Roo. On Wednesday, the Secretary of the Navy acknowledged their efforts are being exceeded by the amount of sargassum that has reached the coast of Quintana Roo.

José Rafael Ojeda Durán, Secretary of the Navy, clarified that while the entire coast has been hit, the municipality of Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen) has been hit the hardest this year.

He detailed that of the approximately 18,622 tons of sargassum that has been collected, 11,048 tons of that was collected from Playa del Carmen beaches.

“The accumulated to date, just look at the amount, almost 19,000 tons of sargassum. It is more than in past years and has surprised us. But that we are there, yes, we are going to continue working,” he said Wednesday from the National Palace.

According to his report, after Playa del Carmen, Benito Juárez (Cancún) has accumulated the most with 3,219 tons followed by Puerto Morelos with 1,918 tons and Tulum with 1,567 tons of seaweed.

Ojeda said these are the municipalities that lead the list with the highest arrival of sargassum this year, also admitting the difficulty in the placement of anti-sargassum barriers due to ongoing bad weather.

He explained that not only did the strong winds early in the year delay placement, once installed, the winds also saw the sargassum breach the barriers and make landfall anyway.

“Even putting up the barriers is not easy,” he said. “It has a procedure where we have to request authorization from Semarnat to be able to place the anchors to make the barriers secure.

“We are aware that tourism is being affected in some places, on some beaches,” the admiral added acknowledging the anti-sargassum barrier breaches.

Last week, 1,400 liner meters of barriers were finally placed off the coast of Mahahual. He said additional barriers will be placed in other areas off the coast of Quintana Roo where the concentration is high.

Ojeda said that additional anti-sargassum barriers will be purchased for Quintana Roo and installed along Cozumel, Mahahual and Riviera Maya since those beaches continue to be the most affected.