According to the monthly reports of the Optical Oceanography Laboratory of the School of Marine Sciences of the University of South Florida, intended to provide an overview of the current flowering condition and the probability of future flowering of sargassum for the Caribbean Sea, the conditions for this 2019, are greater than those of last year for the uptake of these marine algae.
The Sargasso Surveillance System based on the satellite of the University of South Florida warns that 2019, will be on a larger scale, which has alerted authorities at the Caribbean countries, including Mexico.
In the report for the month of January the extension of flowering in 2019 is still significantly greater than in most of the years from 2011 to 2018 for the Caribbean and the Central West Atlantic. For this reason, they point out that this 2019 is likely to be another important flowering year and for which, the corresponding measures must be taken to address said overflow.
These seaweeds, which float on huge mats in the open waters, do not have a specific trajectory indicating which beach or which country it will particularly arrive to, since it depends a lot on conditions such as winds and tides. They mention that the area from which the sargassum comes is called the Sargasso Sea, which is not a true sea, but an area far from the coast in the Atlantic Ocean, between the east coast of Florida and Bermuda.
As sargassum seaweed steadily invades the beaches of Quintana Roo, from Isla Holbox in the north to Xcalak near the Belize border, there is no money to do anything about it. Neighboring country Mexico has stated that it does not have money to deal with this increasing problem which is now considered a natural disaster.
Another report stated that the sargassum crisis could cost the Riviera Maya up to 30% of its tourist trade this year. In 2018, at least 522,226 tons of sargassum were collected, and the invasion is expected to be 300 percent more intense this summer. In addition to its effects on tourism, sargassum threatens biodiversity as it blocks sunlight that would normally penetrate the ocean It also blocks the arrival of sea turtles to the coasts, preventing them from nesting and laying eggs.
News Sources: Mileno & Yucatan Times