Brown curse: this year’s sargassum arrival record could be broken
Esteban Amaro, director of the Sargasso Monitoring Network, confirmed that this 2023 would be the year with the largest amount of sargassum in the history of the Mexican Caribbean, and although actions are already being taken, they are insufficient, being a solution the project of a barrier in the Cozumel Channel, but it lacks echo because of its cost.
The interviewee indicated that the sargasso always gives surprises, this year was that it came almost three months earlier, because usually the massive arrivals are at the end of May or beginning of June, but now it happened since last month.
“In addition to the fact that it came earlier and according to what we have seen in the satellite images and what the University of South Florida points out, this 2023 the amount of sargassum is going to be extraordinary”, he indicated, after adding that the tendency is that every year it increases.
Regarding the proposal of a barrier with its passages for boats from Cozumel to Tulum, he pointed out that it is an unfruitful project due to the high cost of 90 to 100 million dollars, something he admitted is out of reach, although it would be a great solution.
“The solution is to put a door to the corridor through which the sargasso arrives, which affects the seven municipalities, which is the Cozumel canal. All the macroalgae that affects all the northern municipalities enters through there,” he emphasized.
Interviewed by Radio Fórmula, he pointed out that in 2022 more than 54 thousand tons were collected and the projection this year is that it will be exceeded by far so much more equipment is needed, such as barriers, barges, since we only see the tip of the iceberg, the amount has not been magnified.
“What can you do when you get five or six thousand tons of sargassum in a week distributed along the 900 kilometers of coastline. We don’t have the infrastructure to stop that, it’s like wanting to stop a hurricane with an umbrella,” he pointed out.
He also expressed that this year a work table against sargasso was formed, of which he is the general director, and they are looking to make several projects concrete, among them that the state has its satellite monitoring to prevent the arrival, quantities and where it will arrive, already having as red spots, Solidaridad, Puerto Morelos, Tulum and the east coast of Cozumel.
“Just as we have beaches with a lot of sargassum arrivals, we have others with zero, such as Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Contoy and the hotel zone of Cancun remains more or less clean with moderate and low intensity arrivals”, he added.
More than 200 tons of sargassum headed for Quintana Roo’s coasts
Therefore, the Mexican Caribbean has an estimated amount of 26,342 tons of sargassum in its waters. This according to the daily report of the Secretary of the Navy.
It is also estimated that more than 200 tons will arrive to Quintana Roo’s coasts this week. According to the algal coverage in all the regions of the Caribbean Sea, and considering the currents observed in the mentioned region.
In the course of the next few hours, it is estimated that sargassum will arrive on the beaches of Akumal (approximately 38 tons). As well as in the next 24 hours in Punta Herrero (approximately 33 tons), Mahahual (approximately 38 tons).
Also in Cozumel Island (approximately 35 tons); and finally in the next 48 hours in Playa del Carmen (approximately 64 tons).