The Sargassum Attention Strategy implemented by the three levels of government in Mexico (federal, state, and executive) reported an annual increase in the collection of the algae that affects the Mexican Caribbean, specifically in the state of Quintana Roo.
During President López Obrador’s press conference, the head of the Secretary of the Navy shared a report on the activities carried out on Mexican beaches and coasts to combat the arrival of sargassum. Among other things, Admiral José Rafael Ojeda Durán highlighted the cooperation of the different groups of society such as civilians or elements of the armed forces in the work.
From 2020 to date, the number of tons collected has been increasing, both in the sea and in the municipalities (beaches). In 2020, 544.5 were collected at sea and 18,246.19 on land for a total of 19,054.39 tons. In 2021 there were 1,438.29 at sea and 43,429.71 for a total of 44,913. And finally, so far this year, there are 97.7 at sea and 9,467.8 for a total of 9,565.5.
“This phenomenon affects many countries, but the only one where the federation, the state, and the municipality came together is here. In others, they let the hoteliers solve the problem. We would like the results to be greater, but in one way or another we are combating the problem”, said Admiral Ojeda.
In addition, during the exhibition, the evaluation of the current situation in the Mexican Caribbean was announced, in which it was determined that there is a forecast of affectation in an estimated quantity of 32 thousand tons. But due to the cloud density of about 50%, this figure could be an underestimate.
Regarding the punctual arrival of sargassum on the beaches, the head of the Navy assured that it is probable that a large percentage that reaches the coasts will continue its trajectory towards the Gulf of Mexico, which would mean a real reduction in the landing of Quintana Roo. He also commented that the current situation remains in a category 8 alert estimate, which corresponds to an excessive denomination.
Regarding the force that the State has to implement in the works, Admiral Ojeda shared that there are 328 elements of the Navy and 618 of Civil Protection, with four sweepers with tractors, 23 smaller vessels, 11 coastal sargaceros, a support surface unit, an oceanic sargasso ship, and a 9,050-kilometer-long containment barrier.
In addition to all this, a helicopter maintains aerial monitoring, as well as through a center with satellite images. Similarly, 619 people have been involved in the temporary employment program .
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