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Sargassum cleaning of Cancun, Riviera Maya beaches an ongoing project reports governor

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Work is being done on a continual basis to ensure state beaches are clean and free of seaweed says Governor Carlos Joaquín González. He says that a variety of work projects are being carried out to address the sargassum problem, adding that it is a general situation along the coast.

“Every day there is information on the various actions that are carried out…and the state of the beaches, since there is not sargassum every day, nor is the problem on all beaches,” he said.

He says facing the sargassum issue remains a challenge, especially when it arrives in volumes that affect tourist activity.

“For some years we have faced this situation, especially in 2019, when we had massive quantities and as a result of that, the federation appointed the Secretary of the Navy to coordinate the project of beach cleaning, the collection of sargassum with boats and then dumping it in its final destination,” he explained.

“We have created a team to deal with the sargassum. Last year, there was little volume and although now we do not have the amount we had in 2018, we are attentive to the forecasts,” he added.

Esteban Amaro, the director of the Sargasso Monitoring Network of Quintana Roo, says there are some critical areas with the predicted arrival of sargassum. He said at the end of each season, between November and December, they begin monitoring the west coast of Africa, which is where the algae forms.

He explained that this monitoring allows them a better indication of what to expect for the following year. In an interview with Radio Fórmula, he said that there are already several critical points in the state, which complies with the forecasts made by the University of Florida three months ago.

“At the beginning of the year, the sargassum that was in the Mexican Caribbean was little, but when monitoring the arc of the Antilles, significant quantities were seen. In the Antilles and Jamaica, the sargassum has already covered the periphery and is causing problems for fishing and tourism.”

In the case of Quintana Roo, he said that they have identified several critical points, one of which was located in Playa del Carmen in the area known as El Recodo, Punta Esmeralda, in front of Fundadores Park and on the east coast of Cozumel, which is the area that faces the Atlantic, as well as in the northern region in Punta Molas.

“Here in Cancun, we have the second viewpoint in the Hotel Zone, which due to its location, becomes a receptacle for sargassum,” he explained.

“It seems that we are the pessimists when describing the different situations, but unfortunately we have been right,” he said. “Our data has scientific support. We have images from the European Space Agency and we are constantly training ourselves in order to have the best tools for the Sargasso Monitoring Network.

“The forecasts are close to one hundred percent,” he said adding that the information they provide is meant to be realistic to help prepare.”