The beach clubs and restaurants on the federal maritime zone, especially those near the fiscal pier, are having an upturn in activities of up to 60 percent in the middle of the low season, because some cruise passengers whose destination was Miami, located southeast of Florida, were diverted to the island of Cozumel after the passage of Hurricane Dorian, and some of them come to this vacation pole to meet and be distracted, which is giving a respite to sales and services focused on tourism said the waiters interviewed. El Recodo beach is once again affected by an intense sargassum recharge, similar to the one registered weeks ago when the coastal dune of this stretch of the coast became muddy.
Playa Del Carmen with moderate sargassum and with good weather
The Sargasso Monitoring Network Cancun reported that 56 destinations in northern Quintana Roo remain clean and with little arrival of the macroalgae.
"As we can see, again the beach has a lot of sargassum, there are several factors, one has to do with the change of winds and the other with certain gaps that have opened in the barrier that prevents the seaweed," said Gomez Burgos.
Workers hired by the City Council who work on the beach said that in the last three days have collected more than 30 tons on the site, the arrival of algae that has caused difficulty in daily transit along the coastal stretch.
On the beach El Recodo, fishermen shelter 25 boats that are occupied for the provision of tourist services such as sport fishing, snorkeling, diving and rides on the high seas.
More than three weeks ago in El Recodo, more than 100 tons of sargassum were accumulated, according to official calculations, raw material that broke down on the sand, which complicated its collection; however, after multiple factors such as changing the direction of the winds and the work of storing seaweed managed to provide a solution to the problem.
Gomez Burgos commented that this situation came at a difficult time when they are coming out of the worst high season, which reached only 50% occupancy, and entry into the low season period in which they expect not to reach above 20% occupancy in the fleet of 25 boats.
"Hopefully it will be momentary, we have much hope in September with climate change, the arrival of the first strong north that will definitely remove the sargassum for a long time from the beach and that way tourists will use our services because the reality is that to see that there is a lot of seaweed, they do not want to climb, or even come here," he said.
SARGASSUM ENDANGERS THREE SPECIES OF TURTLES
The massive arrival of sargassum to the beaches of Solidaridad is a headache for visitors not only because of the bad odors it causes or to contaminate the water at the start of putrefaction but because of the risk it means for four turtle species that will begin arriving at the sandy areas.
According to veterinarian Juanjo Bolaños, the issue is complicated because Punta Esmeralda, for example, is the beach that uses three species of turtle to spawn from May to November and which are the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas) and the Laud (Dermochelys coriacea).
The veterinarian explains that the presence of the sargassum puts the turtles at risk because of the temperature of the beaches increases, where the turtles bury their eggs, causing an imbalance in the habitat. That same sargassum makes it difficult for turtles to reach the sea after they hatch, and even dry seaweed mixed with sand allows predators or pests to destroy nests.
Punta Esmeralda Beach is also the favorite place of the people and today it showed a lot of visitors registering around 13 thousand, a figure that could be overcome during the day, according to estimates of the staff that works at the site.
With facilities open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the beach with the most demand in the Riviera Maya looked full early on, especially with locals and national tourism that enjoys the cenote that springs up next to the sandbanks of the site.
However, the sargassum brought by the north wind accumulates on the shore of the beach causing unpleasant odors due to decomposition, despite the fact that between 80 and 100 tons of algae are removed per day, according to Zofemat.
HOW NAVY SHIPS AND VOLUNTEERS COLLECT SARGASSUM IN PLAYA DEL CARMEN
The government of Solidarity (where the town of Playa del Carmen is located), hand in hand with the Federation and the support of hoteliers, began the implementation of a comprehensive strategy to contain the sargassum, from the high seas and on land.
There is an agreement to assign two Navy vessels, which will be in charge of collecting the largest amount of seaweed from the high seas, while the municipal government will be responsible for placing barriers and containment structures in 21 strategic points where it has detected the largest amount of seaweed.
One of the Navy ships, which is already in the area, said it will focus its activity on the Zaragoza Canal and from there to the coasts of Solidaridad. Another Navy vessel would arrive in two months, to join these tasks, while the institution begins the manufacture of boats or barges made especially to contain the algae.
"With the arrival of the two vessels, we estimate that 60 or 70% may be contained and the rest will surely land on the coasts of Solidaridad, from where the remaining 30% will be collected through containment barriers and special structures, as well as by land manually and with tractors, by the Zofemat", informed the director of the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone
He also stressed that in the coastal zone they will place sargassum containment structures in seven strategic zones.
"We are also going to put resources such as amphibious bombs, sargassum conveyor belts to remove it from the sands and it is the best strategy".
The seaweed exceeded the capacity of the authorities, so in this effort, the three orders of government are added applying strategies and resources that mitigate the arrival of the macroalgae, at the same time that hotels in the coastal zone contribute with their collection.