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Authorities officially declare 2024 Riviera Maya sargassum season operational

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — The Secretary of the Navy, in charge of sargassum monitoring and collection, has officially declared the season open. Naval personnel based in Isla Mujeres has declared the 2024 Sargassum Care Season started.

The Mexican Navy, along with state and municipal authorities, will begin work to address the annual arrival of sargassum along the state’s coast.

“We begin the 2024 Sargassum Care Season in the state of Quintana Roo. At the moment we are reviewing and installing anchors for the deployment of barriers in Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Mahahual, where this year we will install a total of 8,650 meters of containment barrier,” the Secretaría de Marina reported Thursday.

A total of 8,650 meters of containment barriers will be placed in 2024. Photo: Secretaría de Marina March 21, 2024.

“Since the closing of the 2023 sargassum season, work has been carried out on preventive and corrective maintenance of the infrastructure used for this purpose. Due to the above, the Navy will deploy 11 coastal sargassum vessels throughout this season, which will be distributed in the municipalities for the recovery of sargassum,” they added.

11 coastal sargassum vessels will be deployed to collect the seaweed at sea. Photo: Secretaría de Marina March 21, 2024.

In turn, 22 smaller support vessels will be deployed, together with the oceanic sargacero ship ARM “Natans” (BSO-101), which is expected to arrive on the coasts of the state in the last week of March.

As part of the preparations for the start of the 2024 season, naval personnel are reviewing and installing anchors for the deployment of containment barriers in Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Mahahual.

Naval personnel are seen here installing anchors for the containment barriers. Photo: Secretaría de Marina March 21, 2024.

“As in previous years, this Institution will deploy 340 elements who will support all the aforementioned actions including technical-scientific personnel who will monitor the behavior of this macroalgae, operators of sargacero vessels and smaller vessels, barrier containment operators, as well as personnel deployed on site to attend to infrastructure maintenance needs throughout the season,” the Secretaría de Marina said.

As part of the collection on beaches, the municipalities of Benito Juárez (Cancun), Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos, Cozumel, Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen), Tulum and Othón P. Blanco (Mahahual), will be attended to the arrival of sargassum using machinery such as sweepers, amphibious belts, compact loaders and vehicles for transporting sargassum.

A Riviera Maya worker is seen here removing bits of washed up sargassum and cleaning the sand as part of ongoing maintenance.
Photo: Secretaría de Medio Ambiente Sustentable y Cambio Climático y Zofemat 2024.

In their statement, the Secretaría de Marina also said that constant attention to the sargassum prioritizes the commitment to keeping beaches clean, which contributes to a clean marine environment.