The beaches of the popular resort towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum are going through hard times. Hundreds of tons of sargassum (seaweed) have been washing ashore for the last four months, causing many troubles for the tourist industry. However, finally, the solution has been found, and the shores of the Mexican Caribbean are clear again.
History of the problem
The massive seaweed arrivals began in 2011, but it was in 2014-2015 when they arrived at an even grander scale. In recent years, scientists have started to set off the alarm bells, as the seaweed can cause damage to the coral reefs and affects small fish that get trapped in it. All of this may harm the ecosystem as a whole.
Now, we should point out that sargassum is a common thing that grows off the coast and is abundant in warm seas. Usually, their roots are attached to the bottom. When they come off, the weed floats freely, forming layers. Nowadays, these plants reproduce rapidly due to global warming.
Besides the harm that sargassum causes to marine life, another downside is that the water becomes brown, making it not pleasant to swim and affecting the usually striking colors of the Caribbean. So to make things worse, sargassum changed not only the beaches of Mexico, but also the coasts of Florida, the Bahamas, and even Brazil.
Not long ago, the company Grupo Ar-Co Mexico installed the anti-sargassum barriers, and the results are already visible. Thus, popular beaches of Playa del Carmen such as Playa Mamitas and Playacar look fabulous again. The barriers look simple enough. They are made of an ordinary fishing net of 60 cm wide, which is attached to the bottom by special loads. The net is installed 100 meters from the coastline, at an angle of 45 degrees to redirect the sargassum back to the sea. Then drones are used to detect the grass areas, so the special boats can collect it.
Mexican Navy is Combating Sargassum
The Ministry of the Navy of Mexico has allocated 2.7 million dollars to combat the seaweed. The marine engineers have built special vessels designed to collect the grass from the sea. They are equipped with a crane that can load it on another boat for further processing. In the first two days of work, they collected 10 tonnes.
With all these efforts at controlling the sargassum, the results can be seen now. The beaches of Playa del Carmen and Tulum are recovering, and it is possible again to enjoy swimming in the Caribbean. Recently the government of Quintana Roo has officially stated that the situation with the seaweed has been stabilized, and tourists have nothing to worry about.
Moreover, we could say the same to a buyer or investor looking for properties in Playa del Carmen. In Quintana Roo, the tourist industry is the foundation of our economy, therefore the government but, most importantly, the people of Quintana Roo will continue fighting sargassum. Mexico will not give up, the beaches of the Caribbean will remain our most precious jewel and Playa del Carmen will remain a treasure for investors.
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