The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the federal government revealed that less sargassum is expected to arrive on the beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula this year, although it will depend on atmospheric conditions and ocean currents.
The agency indicated that studies by the National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Inapesca) and the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences (Cicimar) revealed that during 2023 a lower amount of sargassum is forecast for the Peninsula.
In the state, specialists from the Merida Unit of the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (Cinvestav), the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (Uady) and the Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán (CICY) are conducting research to use the sargassum that washes up on the beaches and prevent it from continuing to affect tourism.
The Ministry of Agriculture indicated that one of the objectives of the studies is to analyze the behavior of the volumes and/or biomass of two species of sargassum: S. natans and S. fluitans, which have shown explosive growth since 2011.
This research focuses on the relationship between the behavior in the Greater Caribbean area, with the accumulated quantities of sargassum in the area.
Caribbean, with the quantities accumulated off the coasts of Quintana Roo and those that arrive at the beaches of this entity, as well as those that affect Yucatan.
With the information obtained and analyzed, two maximums have been observed in that area, in 2018 and 2022.
The federal Secretariat added that the research work focused on data from 2011 to 2022, particularly those amounts similar or higher during the months of November and December 2022. However, “they do not necessarily indicate that 2023 will have higher sargassum compared to previous years“.
According to the specialist from the Center for Aquaculture and Fisheries Research (Criap) in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Jaime González Cano, researchers from Inapesca and Cicimar determined that the conditions seen from March to April have allowed forecasting a decrease in sargassum biomass for this 2023, even to the levels of 2019.
Finally, they recommended taking preventive measures, advancing in the necessary aspects for its integral management and continuing with scientific studies to establish the possible uses and exploitation of sargassum.