Riviera Maya, Q.R. — A specialized sargasso vessel has been navigated to Quintana Roo waters where the ship is being used to collect sargassum at sea. The Secretary of the Navy, Rear Admiral Alejandro López Centeno says that the vessel, the Arm Natans Bso-101, has been incorporated into seaweed collection efforts this year.
He says the vessel will be used throughout the sargassum season, noting that forecasts indicate an algae arrival higher than last year. He adds that the decision to use more vessels, of which they have, will be based on the volume of arriving sargassum. He also noted that for this year, there are no more resources planned to tackle the arrival of seaweed.
During the vessel’s first few days in Quintana Roo waters, López Centeno said the Natans unloaded 13.5 tons of at-sea sargassum collected at Puerto Morelos, and that now, the vessel will head to others areas where sargassum has been located.
He pointed out that on Tuesday, a large block of seaweed was seen entering the Cozumel channel.
“The work of the Natans takes place in high sea waters to avoid, as much as possible, algae from reaching the coasts. It was built expressly for cargo, since the entire vessel is a warehouse with a capacity for 250 tons of sargassum,” he explained.
“The collection system is by means of bands, which once introduced into the water, capture the sargassum and deposit it in the warehouse where the crew store it in packages to be delivered to the municipality for final disposal,” he added.
The Natans is crewed by 12 navy and, according to information received from reconnaissance flights, is relocated accordingly.