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Two US sargassum boats head to Cancun while barriers placed at Playa del Carmen

Cancun, Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Two sargassum boats from the US are on their way to the coast to help with the Cancun, Riviera Maya sargasso issue.

Florida, who has also had their beaches covered in the unwanted seagrass for the past several seasons, is sending two boats from the US to help the Quintana Roo region lift and remove the algae.

Alfredo Arellano

Alfredo Arellano, head of the Ministry of the Environment, announced the pair of boats will be arriving closer to the weekend. He said that the government of Quintana Roo requested about 610 million peso to acquire its own assets that will lower annual costs in the fight against sargassum, starting next year.

The seagrass is affecting beaches in the municipalities of Isla Mujeres, Benito Juárez (Cancun), Puerto Morelos, Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen), Cozumel, Tulum and Othón Pompeyo Blanco (Chetumal).

According to the official, “41 beaches have been freed of Sargasso after starting the containment and collection. We are extracting around 1,000 to 1,500 cubic meters of sargassum per day in the sea, and with the cleaning of beaches, this is an amount that will increase when the equipment arrives.

“The containment barrier in front of Cancún is a test of 300 meters. The installation in Playa del Carmen has already begun,” he points out.

Grupo Dakatso has begun installing a test sargasso barrier along the coast of Playa del Carmen. The barrier is 100 linear meters and approximately 150 meters from the beach.

According to Dagoberto Ruiz Lavín, CEO of the company, they are waiting for resources to install the barriers in other regions along the coast while they show the diversion barrier is a viable option adding that the Playa del Carmen test barrier will last about a week.

“We will do the preliminary tests and as soon as they release the resources, these barriers will be the type that will be installed along the remainder of the coast. We are coordinated with the government, waiting for the resources to come through,” he said adding, “We manufacture in Quintana Roo. We are a local company.”

He argued that these seaweed barriers will not affect marine life since it is not a network, as environmental groups have said.