Semarnat acquires machinery to remove sargassum from Quintana Roo beaches

According to, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources announced this week that it has acquired special machinery to remove the sargassum that is washing up on the beaches of the Mexican Caribbean. The equipment cannot be employed until November, however because it would be to the detriment of migrating wildlife such as sea turtles, said Rafael Pacchiano, head of Semarnat.

So far the federal government has allocated 70 million pesos to combat the problem.

The head of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) attached to the Interdisciplinary Center for Marine Sciences, Dr. Francisco Arreguín Sánchez, assured that sargassum in the Mexican Caribbean represents an opportunity for the pharmaceutical and food sectors that wish to invest and take advantage of chemical substances such as alginates to develop products.

Photo Credits: Website

Sánchez indicated that the seaweed is not harmful to marine animals and it is a habitat that serves to raise young sea turtles and eels.

Maria Teresa Solis Trejo, meanwhile, said that so far there have been no cancellations by tourists and that the hotel occupancy in Quintana Roo is 91 percent.

The diverse research institutes of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, have defined three scientific subcommittees to attend to the short, medium and long term massive arrival of sargasso. A permanent working group is working to provide knowledge and solutions to the problem of atypical arrival of sargassum to the beaches of Quintana Roo.

Photo Credits: Website Unotv

According to the researchers, there are several options such as the generation of biofuel, as well as the manufacture of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products that can be used with sargasso.

According to the researcher, Gustavo Adolfo Olaiz Fernández, coordinator of the Center for Research in Policies, Population and Health, of the Faculty of Medicine said that there is no evidence of damage to health due to the presence of this macroalga.