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Positive Sargassum Forecast: Mexican Caribbean Will Be Algae-Free Soon, Say Authorities

Great news for vacationers: The Mexican Caribbean will be nearly sargassum-free during the sunny summer months due to new favorable weather conditions, authorities have reported.

Quintana Roo is experiencing a spike in sargassum but it will only extend until the first days of July. No more massive arrivals are expected from August to September. 

According to  Esteban Amaro Mauricio, head of the Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network, ocean currents are diverting most of the sargassum observed towards Florida and away from the Mexican Caribbean.

Latest Images from Optical Oceanography Laboratory (University of Florida)
Latest Images from Optical Oceanography Laboratory (University of Florida)

One of the factors contributing to this positive forecast is the supply of fresh water from the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, which affect the speed and direction of the eastern Caribbean Sea currents, so the entire Mexican Caribbean area will be near sargassum-free over the next few weeks.

On June 20, 6.8 million tons were spotted and photographed between the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles.

Out of all that sargassum, it is estimated that only 1 million will pass through the Caribbean Sea and only a minimum part of it will reach the Mexican coasts, said Amaro Mauricio.

While this still seems like a lot of seaweed, Mexican authorities and hoteliers are ready to handle it since the blob will be much smaller than predicted earlier this year.

Most of this sargassum would arrive between Tulum, the east coast of Cozumel, the Mahahual and Xcalak stretch, south of Punta Nizuc and the Sian Ka’an reserve.

“There will be less sargassum regarding weight, and much more time will pass between big arrivals. That is, there will no longer be a “season of massive landfalls,” and all landfalls will be of medium and low intensity,” Amaro said.

Travelers who decide to visit the above-mentioned red-flagged areas should know that they will encounter some small amounts of sargassum on the beach and in the water.

Data from the Secretary of the Navy (Semar) show that between January and June 16, 2024, 70 thousand tons of algae passed through the Mexican Caribbean but landfalls were just a few.

Last year, authorities collected 22,128 tons of algae on Quintana Roo beaches.

So far in 2024, more than 70 million tons have been spotted in the Mexican Caribbean region by multiple monitoring organizations. 

These quantities are considered abnormal. The rapid and uncontrolled growth of algae has been attributed to a number of factors, including global warming and overnutrified waters due to the large-scale agricultural industry. 

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