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Authorities declare 2023 Cancun Riviera Maya sargassum season officially over

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — The Government of Quintana Roo has declared the 2023 sargassum for Cancun and Riviera Maya officially over. On Thursday, Governor Mara Lezama highlighted the teamwork between federal, state and municipal workers along with volunteers.

Lezama said during the 2023 Sargassum Season, more than 22,000 tons was lifted from the state coast.

“In 2023, less sargassum was recorded on the coasts of the Mexican Caribbean and for its attention, 11 sargassum coastal vessels were built, 16 smaller vessels with collecting devices were deployed and 9,059 meters of barriers were placed,” she detailed during the meeting.

The meeting took place in the auditorium of the Ninth Naval Zone where she highlighted the work and effort of everyone to keep the beaches clean for as long as possible, which she says, are the main attractions of the Quintana Roo tourist destinations.

Governor Lezama says the state recorded less sargassum during the 2023 season.
Photo: Coordinación General de Comunicación October 25, 2023.

She said with clean beaches, it was possible to have world-class events that put Quintana Roo in the eyes of the world. She also highlighted the first official permit from COFEPRIS for organic sargassum-made fertilizers to a company in Puerto Morelos, a project of the Secretariat of Environmental Ecology, German Cooperation Agency GIZ and the Federal Government.

She said that they are working on the tender for the preparation of the Regulation of the Law for the Prevention, Comprehensive Management and Circular Economy of Waste in the State of Quintana Roo regarding sargassum, as well as the preparation of the valuation study of the algae at the industrial level for the generation of carbon credits for the international market.

Cancun beaches have been relatively sargassum free since the Spring.
Photo: Coordinación General de Comunicación October 25, 2023.

Governor Lezama explained that in the context of the coordination agreement between the federal government and the state government, more than 9,000 linear meters of barriers were installed and 22,128 tons of sargassum collected so far this year.

When presenting a report on the actions that have been carried out through the National Strategy for Sargassum Care, the Commander of the Ninth National Region, Admiral Abraham Eloy Caballero, highlighted that unity is the only way to achieve great things and with this strategy, all efforts are directed toward a single objective, Quintana Roo.

“This ceremony portrays how the union of wills achieves results in favor of Quintana Roo and our Nation,” said Admiral Eloy Caballero. He reported that since 2019, the various levels of government along with private initiative, non-governmental organizations, environmentalists and even civil society have joined together in open collaboration to address the problem.

Federal, state and municipal authorities gathered at the Isla Mujeres Naval Station for the official closing of the 2023 sargassum season.
Photo: Coordinación General de Comunicación October 25, 2023.

For their care, 11 Sargacero coastal vessels were built, one oceanic Sargacero vessel was rehabilitated and 16 smaller vessels with collection devices were deployed. The State Government and the affected municipalities acquired 9,059 meters of barrier for the containment of sargassum, four sweepers, a tractor and 14 amphibious collection belts.

Since 2019, a total of 225,648 tons of the macroalgae has been collected, he detailed.

“We could turn our backs on the problem or start an individual fight, but we all decided on the best strategy and that was to work to keep intact the unique beauty of the beaches of this region in addition to preventing it from getting out of control and causing irrecoverable health, economy and ecology losses,” he added.

In January of this year, studies by the National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Inapesca) and the Interdisciplinary Center for Marine Sciences (Cicimar) had forecast a lower amount of sargassum to arrive on Cancun and Riviera Maya beaches during 2023.