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State sargassum now for sale online

Cancun, Q.R. — Some locals have turned extra entrepreneurial with the sale of sargassum through online marketplaces.

Vendors in the states of Yucatán and Quintana Roo are offering bulk purchases of sargassum through one of the largest online marketplaces dedicated to e-commerce and online auctions. Vendors have gathered mounds of the seaweed, offering it for sale in bags that range from five to 60 kilos, shipped anywhere in Mexico.

The seaweed is being sold as dried for industrial use, for research or for the development of new products. It is also being offered to those who make cosmetics, need food for livestock or for use as fertilizer or biofuel.

There is a catch however. In order to collect and sell the sargassum, la Secretaría de Ecología y Medio Ambiente (SEMA) warns the extra entrepreneurial that they need to apply for a fishing and development permit.

Alfredo Arrellano Guillermo, Secretary of Ecology and Environment of Quintana Roo, reports they have not processed any permits to offer the seaweed for sale. The agency also said they will not fine those who use it for self-consumption.