Playa Del Carmen beaches free from the seaweed
After the presence of sargassum in several beaches of Quintana Roo in recent months represented a problem even of a federal nature, today the situation is different, and according to data provided by the Sargasso Monitoring Network the beaches, in their majority, they do not present presence of this macroalga.
In its information generated daily the Monitoring Network details that 22 beaches are totally free of sargassum, in 46 it is very low, 10 moderate and in only two there is an abundant presence, being Nizuc Playa Coral, as well as Punta Molas.
This situation has created good expectations for the hotel sector, restaurants and service providers in general of the different tourist points in the entity, as one of the most important holiday season is approaching in December, where they expect to have good economic spill with the arrival of national and international tourism.
The director of the Sargasso Monitoring Network of Cancun, Esteban Amaro recalled that the Quintana Roo should learn to live with sargassum, this being a recurring problem derived from global warming, however, it is marked by times in the year, it is said that as the seasonal hear culminates the macroalgae is decreasing.
Sargassum comes from Africa and reaches the part of the Amazon where it begins to nourish, rapidly increasing its volume, and then continue advancing until it reaches the beaches of Quintana Roo.
The sargassum problem is not exclusive to the state, it is a natural phenomenon present in several parts of the world and even in several areas its arrival is greater, however, it can be emphasized that no one has achieved as much progress as Mexico in the fight against this macroalgae.
The Sargasso Monitoring Network of Cancun publishes daily on Facebook how to find all the beaches in the state regarding the arrival of the sargassum.
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.