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City council waiting for government funds to install Mahahual sargassum barriers

Mahahual, Q.R. — Local volunteers and businessmen continue to deal with the arrival of seaweed themselves while authorities wait for funding to install the in-sea barriers.

Gerardo Pérez Zafra, representative of the Employers’ Confederation of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex) says although they were able to operate until Easter without sargassum problems, the algae has begun to make landfall, mainly in the north and south streams yet, despite this, the Secretariat of the Navy has not installed the barriers along the coast.

“The sargassum situation is being taken care of by us, the businessmen and volunteers because authorities have not informed us when they are going to install the barrier. The only thing we observe is the sargasso vessel that has no function,” he commented.

Last month, Mahahual mayor Pedro Marcial Rodríguez Cobos said that the length of the sargassum barrier would be doubled for the 2021 season. Rodriguez Cobos said that the coast of Mahahual would have 1,200 meters of barriers, an increase from the usual 600-meters normally anchored. However, an official date for installation has yet to be announced.

“Our barrier would be from the downtown area, where there is a natural protection of the reef and there are no waves,” said Pérez Zafra, adding that one of the reasons for the stall is lack of resources. He says that the City Council of Othón P. Blanco has to pay for the anchoring of the barrier but the municipality lacks resources.

Currently, the Ecology Directorate is making arrangements with the state government to help pay for the anchoring. “The Navy is waiting for the resources to sign the agreement with the (sargassum barrier) company. Meanwhile, we continue to clean our beaches with our nets,” he noted.