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Costa Maya already shoveling away washed up sargassum

Costa Maya, Q.R. — Over the weekend, locals in Costa Maya found themselves armed with pitch forks along beach areas in an attempt to remove landing sargassum. While the official season has not yet arrived, sargassum in the extreme southern region has.

The southern beach areas between Tulum and Xcalak often accumulate the most sargassum with this year being no exception. The 2022 forecast again reports those areas as being the most likely to have the highest arrival.

Jorge Marcelo González Ancona, Xcalak delegate said, “the sargassum is already affecting the area, and as far as I know, I am not aware of when they will put up any barriers.”

Xcalak, the seaside town in the municipality of Othón P. Blanco just south of Mahahual, residents are already fighting sargassum. Some have begun the task of manually removing the seaweed themselves since it affects their businesses.

Many of the town’s shops are located within 10 meters of the beach. When exposed to sun, the washed up seaweed begins to emit a foul odor as it decays.

However, due to the amounts arriving, local business owners are asking for help with
intervention from the Secretary of Ecology and Environment (Sema) since, they say, the federal government’s strategy has not been effective.

The Association of Hotels of the Riviera Maya (AHRM) says they expect this year’s arrival to be less than previous years.

“Right now, the predictions that they are showing us due to the agreements that the Navy has with several satellite tracking institutions is that the sargassum landfall will be very similar or the same as that of 2020, which was a season with the least arrival along the coasts,” said Toni Chaves, president of the AHRM.