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Friday,  April 19, 2024 10:28 AM 

Mexico takes action against sargassum issue

Mexico takes action against sargassum issue

Authorities in Mexico are increasing efforts to remove sargassum seaweed, an algae that grows in the Sargasso Sea and has been plaguing the Caribbean coastline for weeks, from its shores.

According to the Associated Press, the state government of Quintana Roo said the sargassum removal efforts will cover Holbox in the north through Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Playa de Carmen, Cozumel, Akumal, Tulum and as far south as Mahahual.

The Cancun city government has already raked or shoveled up 500 cubic meters of sargassum, although the state government claims there have been no reports of tourist cancellations due to the problem.

Although the cause of the seaweed invasion is still unknown, some experts believe it could be due to high levels of nutrients in ocean water or changes in ocean temperatures, currents or wind patterns.

Removal must be done with care, due to nesting sea turtles that return to the Caribbean beaches to lay their eggs, and the risk of erosion on the beaches, which has been a problem in Cancun in the past.

AP said the state government formed a task force of naval and environmental authorities to study the problem. Authorities are also researching ways to use or dispose of the seaweed mounds.