TULUM, Quintana Roo – The Secretariat of the Navy and the Mexican Navy (Semar) has issued a “moderate” alert level following the forecast of low sargassum arrival on the coasts of the Mexican Caribbean.
According to the records maintained by the armed forces through the Gulf and Caribbean Sea Oceanographic Institute, the beginning of July has seen the lowest level of sargassum arrival since 2018, with a recorded amount of 9,603 tons of seaweed. In 2018, there were up to 38,000 tons in the first five days of the month.
“The alert level for the Mexican Caribbean Region is classified as category 4, which corresponds to the ‘moderate’ designation, according to the Scale for the Approximate Presence of Sargassum in the Mexican Caribbean and criteria for evaluating the level of sargassum accumulation in the coastal zone,” explained Semar.
Thus, the sargassum accumulation levels in the coastal zone are as follows: for the southern zone, from Xcalak to Sian Ka’an, it is moderate; for the central zone, from Tulum to Playa del Carmen including Cozumel Island, it is moderately high; for the northern zone, it is very low, covering Puerto Morelos to Benito Juarez with Isla Mujeres.
Currently, from Xcalak to the vicinity of Mahahual, there are predominating surface currents with a northwest direction and average speeds of 22 kilometers per hour. In other words, the conditions are not conducive to a high influx of sargassum.
According to the report from the University of South Florida, which monitors the regional phenomenon, sargassum levels have suddenly decreased for the Caribbean Sea basin since the onset of the phenomenon in 2013.
As a result, coastal cities such as Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Puerto Morelos, which have suffered greatly from the phenomenon and its impact on tourism, have started to once again enjoy clean beaches, reminiscent of how they appeared before the intense influx of sargassum in previous years.