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Smelly seaweed destroyed beach tourism in Mexico

The legendary Sargosso Sea is now splashing along the shores of Mexican resorts …

Smelly seaweed destroyed beach tourism in Mexico
More precisely, it splashed, and now on the beaches you simply can’t get through the rubble of rotting piles of brown algae. The characteristic sulfuric smell and the disgusting appearance of “grass soup” instead of clean water frightened tourists, making this season a failure in the regions of Tulum, Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Neither millions of investments in cleaning the beaches nor the efforts of the Mexican army helped.

Now on the beaches you just can’t get through the rubble heaps of brown algae
It all started in 2011, when new spots in the ocean flashed brightly on satellite images. The pigments in the sargassa reflect infrared light and on the screens, algae clusters glow like a forest conflagration, which simplifies their tracking. Since 2009, due to the consequences of deforestation in the Amazon, excess nitrogen has been released into the Caribbean. Then it got a little colder and the Sargasses went up. Since then, each year there has been an explosive increase in the volume of algae spots in the ocean, each more than the previous ones.

On spots from satellites, new spots in the ocean flashed brightly
On the screens, algae clusters glow like a forest fire
Peaks of Sargassa breeding occurred in 2015 and 2018, by then the former Sargosso Sea had de facto ceased to exist. Instead, today there is the “Great Atlantic Sargasso Belt”, which seemed to partition the Atlantic from both continents of America to West Africa. At least 10-20 million metric tons of algae floats there, and now the currents are no longer able to keep this mass in one place. She crawled everywhere and went into shallow water, where this muck was not seen spawn. Also in the same 2011th, the alarm was sounded in Florida, but the main blow fell on Mexico.

The Great Atlantic Sargasso Belt
At least 10-20 million metric tons of algae floats there
According to scientists, the Sargassos have entered a phase when the growth obviously exceeds the volumes of dying algae. Therefore, it became virtually pointless to deal with them. After all, the inhabitants of the region did not sit still, idly watching the pollution of the beaches. Hoteliers in Cancun and Puerto Morelos now spend millions a year on cleaning beaches and removing seaweed. Since May 2019, the Mexican Navy announced the collection of 218 tons of sargass, and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador allocated $ 2.5 million in state subsidies for these purposes. In vain.

The growth obviously exceeds the volumes of dying algae
Hoteliers are now spending millions a year on cleaning beaches
“A battalion of soldiers and as many workers cleared the beach from 6 a.m., and by 11 a.m. the water became clear. Vacationers were delighted, but by the evening of that day everything was again overtaken by seaweed. Everyone wanted to admire the sunset. ” A similar situation is observed in traditional seaside resorts in Mexico. For example, in the cities of Cancun and Puerto Morelos, hotel occupancy decreased by 3.5% compared to last year, even though in some hotels room prices are reduced by 15-25% compared to last year. And what will happen next year? Catastrophe!

Vacationers were delighted, but by the evening of that day everything was again overtaken by seaweed
Everyone wanted to admire the sunset
The worst thing in this situation is that the rapid growth of Sargassa harms not only the tourism business and people in general, but also the ocean itself. Previously, fish fry and other small organisms successfully hid among drifting sparse clubs of algae, and a convenient symbiosis was observed. And now the dense “Sargassian islands”, like fishing nets, are already killing adult individuals – dolphins and sea turtles.

Sargassa growth harms both the tourism industry and people, and the ocean itself
Now dense “Sargass islands”, like fishing nets, destroy dolphins and sea turtles
Sargasses began to change the ocean, its biosphere, and scientists fear that this will be a long time. More precisely, forever, because there are no prerequisites for reducing the number of Sargassa in the foreseeable future. And if so, then the famous beaches of Mexico can be considered irretrievably lost. Following them, probably, the other destinations of the Caribbean region will suffer the same fate, which will radically change the entire tourism industry in the world. Already today, passengers of huge cruise liners express “fi” when they are forced to swim through the dirty regions of the ocean, the pleasure of traveling goes to zero. What will happen tomorrow?

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