Sargassum in Mexico
Posted by Abel Hernandez | Mexico, Mexico
The nightmare has returned to the Mexican Caribbean as the beaches of tourist centers such as Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, and Tulum are now filled with high volumes of sargassum, which has turned their crystal blue waters into a brown muck of seaweed.
However, this problem is not unique to Mexico. According to the Cancún Sargassum Monitoring Network, the plague has affected 30 countries and territories in the Caribbean. Cases have been reported in the shores of Cuba, the Turks and Caicos islands, Inagua, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Grand Caiman, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras.
The concerns may not be hyperbole: the sargassum mats appear even worse along parts of Mexico's coast than they did last year. And the problem affects almost all the islands and mainland beaches in the Caribbean to an extent. The U.S. Gulf coast got hit in 2014 and the east coast of Florida is getting sargassum this year.
The algae flooding into the Caribbean is coming from an unexpected source: the tropical Atlantic waters beyond the mouth of the Amazon River.