First in line of sight in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean islands are not the only ones impacted by Sargassum groundings. After hitting their shores, the seaweed crosses the Gulf of Mexico until it washes up on the Caribbean shores of Mexico. The states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan and their world famous beaches (Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen etc…) are particularly affected during these events.
In Mexico, managing Sargassum is mainly the responsibility of hoteliers who face disastrous economic consequences affecting their businesses and are hence especially active in algae collection. Certain large groups have installed barriers to keep beaches clean and to maintain a “normal” tourist attendance.
Comparison of seaweed events between 2018 and 2022 in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico
Source: Club Sentinelle, Guadeloupe
Turtles facing Sargassum in Mexico
The environmental impact of Sargassum events is significant, affecting mangroves, corals, fauna, and flora alike. In the state of Quintana Roo, a sea turtle protection team is working to recover the eggs laid by this species heavily impacted by strandings on several kilometers of beach. New-borns are thus released on Sargassum free beaches, increasing their chances of reaching the sea before being spotted by predators.
Possible usages for this abundant and cumbersome raw material? Numerous scientists and entrepreneurs are looking into possible scenarios and working on Sargassum valorization solutions.
Edible, functional and medicinal mushrooms: a biotechnological alternative to the social, economic and ecological problems caused by Sargassum in the Mexican Caribbean.
This report published by the Yucatan Scientific Research Center and by the Popular Autonomous University of the State of Puebla, explores different solutions for Sargassum valorization, especially as a culture substrate.
Sargassum - A complex phenomenon
Edited by scientists from Yucatan Research Center, this document looks back on the Sargassum events phenomena especially since 2011, their environmental and other types of consequences on Mexican coasts, as well as suggesting various solutions to address these now recurring problems.
Sargassum: Story(s) of a Brown Tide
“Sargassum: Story(s) of a Brown Tide” was written in the style of a role-playing game. Researchers are invited to come out of their laboratories to meet citizens, illustrators to return to the benches of the university to question the research, screenwriters to immerse themselves in the reality of fieldwork.
Led by the Alliance Française of Santo Domingo, the creation of this Caribbean and international documentary comic strip is intended to become a space for discussion and reflection on the environmental issue of Sargassum.
A tale of two species
Where does Sargassum come from? What can we do with it? Is it edible? Find the answers to these questions and much more in this human and animal adventure, following a group of creatures and a family crew.
Writer: Rodrigo Betancourt Ponce
Cartoonist: Flor Guga
Scientist: José Adán Caballero Vazquez
Yucatan Scientific Research Center
01-(52) 999 942 83 30 – https://www.cicy.mx
National Council for Science and Technology
01-(55) 5322 – 7700 – https://conacyt.mx
Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán (INCMNSZ), Animal Nutrition Department – Dr. Silvia Carrillo Domínguez
+52 55 5487 09 00 – https://www.incmnsz.mx/opencms