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Government to build sargasso barges for Cancun, Riviera Maya

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — The government of Quintana Roo has announced the construction of four specialized barges dedicated to harvesting sargasso.

The governor of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquin, made the announcement saying that each barge will cost approximately 15 million peso for a total federal investment of 60 million. The units, when complete, will be used to harvest the sargasso along the state’s coast.

“The first step is to clean sargassum from the coasts of the state and, subsequently, to intensify tourism promotion,” he said.

In a statement, the state government said that the decision was made during a working meeting to address strategy conflicts. He says that the catamaran-style vessels will be constructed to withstand a greater load capacity, will cost 15 million peso each and will be outfitted with a crane to deposit the algae directly in another vessel.

During the meeting, federal, state and municipal authorities along with businessmen and hotel representatives reviewed the Programa Integrado de Atención al Arribo de Sargazo and agreed on immediate medium and long-term plans, protocols and management guidelines to deal with the sargasso.

The meeting also resulted in agreements for beach cleaning financing, beach access to get to the sargasso and the final deposit sites for the unwanted seaweed. The governor also confirmed there will be weekly flyovers to detect impacted areas and the arrival of sargassum.

He stated that just as there is a preventive program in the case of hurricanes, there must now be a preventative program in the matter of sargasso.

Carlos Joaquin said that the first boat will be ready in six months with resources and labor from the federal agency.