What is sargassum?

What is sargassum?

The issue of sargassum has become a challenge for the authorities of Quintana Roo, due to the magnitude with which this macroalgae has arrived at the beaches of the Mexican Caribbean.

beach cancun

Serenity Beach Club, Cancun.

In recent dates, it was confirmed that the sargassum comes from the “Sargasso Sea”, near the Bermuda Island and northern of Ecuador, accumulating on the beaches of Brazil and, due to the marine currents, enters the Caribbean.

Sargassum grows rapidly because organic waste is converted into nutrients that fertilize the microalga, which causes it to double every 18 days and this is a latent threat to the Caribbean beaches.

Holbox beach

Las Nubes, Holbox.

According to the Secretariat of Tourism, since last year different strategic plans for the control of sargassum have been working in Quintana Roo. It is intended that, with the collaboration of hoteliers, state and federal government, the cleaning of the beaches will be organized with the support of “sargazeros” and the arrival of specialized boats.

An action plan was first determined to combat this problem, which consists of generating temporary employment for beach and offshore fishing with fishing boats, the installation of containment barriers, detection and monitoring of the microalgae.

child in the beach


In the same way, a trust fund was created to assume the operating costs of the sargassum retreat and a world meeting called “Sargassum Summit” is being organized for May 28th. Unfortunately, out of 19 countries invited to this meeting, only 6 have confirmed their attendance.

According to Gustavo Adolfo Olaiz Fernandez, coordinator of the Center for Research in Policies, Population and Health of the Faculty of Medicine, there is no evidence of health damage from the presence of these microalgae, so the turquoise blue waters and beaches of Quintana Roo are still a great option for Mexican tourism.

Beach in Cancun

Golden Parnassus, Cancun.

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