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Boat service providers in Tulum say business has plummeted because of critical amounts of sargassum

Tulum, Q.R. — Boat service providers in Tulum say they have seen a dramatic decrease in earnings due to the mass arrival of sargassum. Tour operator Arturo Armando González said that water tours have been nearly paralyzed due to the seaweed situation.

He says there is a significant presence of sargassum along the coast of Tulum that has had a negative impact on aquatic services. The large amounts of seaweed has meant less beach tourists, which in turn, has meant less income for local families.

“The sargassum is affecting us a lot. There is too much of it arriving right now. The truth is that the percentage of people who come to visit is very small and sometimes we don’t earn anything,” he said.

He said that nearly all the boat operators in Tulum have experienced a reduction in requests for services. He explained that normally, 40 percent of beach tourists hire the boats for their varying services, but that figure has plummeted to around five percent.

“The truth is that we dropped to almost 5 or 10 percent of people from the 40 percent that we had and that is worrying for families that depend on this for their income,” he said.

Manual efforts to remove the arriving seaweed is deemed insufficient by businesses, added local Valentín Mayo Córdova. “The truth is that things are very critical right now because of the sargassum. There is an excess and people are no longer able to cope, both the city council and hotel workers,” he said.