Isla Mujeres beaches are kept clean and free of sargassum
The City Council's priority is to preserve the good image of the tourist attractions that Isla Mujeres has since tourism is the main source of income that directly benefits the islanders.
Every day a crew of 15 people works from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on each beach to carry out garbage collection, sandblasting, raking and sargassum removal with the firm conviction that bathers arriving at the island find a Magical Town green and friendly with the environment.
The sargassum that reaches the coast of the municipality of Isla Mujeres is removed almost immediately.
Isla Mujeres on July 19, 2019
The beaches of Isla Mujeres have been recognized internationally as high-quality beaches and service, such as Playa Centro, as well as Playa Norte and Playa Albatros Beach, which from July 2019 to 2020 will obtain the Blue Flag Badge certification.
Since 2011, the concentration of the macroalgae has been expanding from the coast of West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico, according to scientists. The "world's largest seaweed belt" floats from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico: it is 8,850 kilometers long and weighs about 20 million tons.
The maximum concentration of the macroalgae was detected by scientists at the University of South Florida, who, according to Science magazine, warned that this phenomenon will become increasingly recurrent. The researchers analyzed 20 years of satellite data, detecting the "Great Atlantic Twill Belt" (GASB), whose density and extent began to increase in 2011.
Since then, each year, the concentration of the macroalgae has expanded from the coast of West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico. Until June 2018, the "great sargassum belt" measured 8,850 kilometers and weighed approximately 20 million tons, according to scientists' calculations.
"This represents the largest macro-algae bloom in the world. Such recurrent blooms can become the new normality," they told Science magazine.
How did the "big belt" get to the Gulf of Mexico?
The researchers pointed out that the expansion of GASB is mainly driven by ocean circulation.
They added that the exponential increase of the macroalgae could have its origin in the discharge of the Amazon River in previous years although they also consider factors such as:
Deforestation by agriculture
A greater dragging of sediments that would be altering the oceanic chemistry, doping the water with an extra of nutrients that make the sargasso prosper.
Warming would be stratifying the water column
Scientists explained that in the open ocean, sargasso provides an essential habitat and refuge for all types of marine animals. But when it reaches beaches, it causes a foul odor that results in economic losses, and which, in large concentrations, can impede the movement or respiration of some marine animals.