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Seaweed along Riviera Maya coastline

Seaweed along Riviera Maya coastline

Old Jul 10, 15, 11:17 am
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Seaweed along Riviera Maya coastline

While luckily it's never happen in my resort stays in Cancun and the area south friends have mentioned during their stays at different times of the year that there was so much seaweed in the water and washing up on shore as to make it difficult to get into the water. Assuming my friends were exaggerating I didn't think much until they sent me a picture which looked much like this although this isn't the actual picture:



They said sometimes it was thick in the water and other times thicker on shore. While more an annoyance they did say it kept them off the beach and that was something they were looking forward to. The resort did what it could to minimize the impact but so much built up it was drifts a few feet high that was moved rather than hauled away daily.

That said does anyone know if the seaweed is cyclical and are there are times when it's less or even non-existent? Is it seasonal or year 'round? Would lunar phases and tides during the month have an affect? I know mother mature is unpredictable but thought it worth asking in case anyone had an inkling.
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Old Jul 10, 15, 11:33 am
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It's called sargassum and it comes from the Sargasso Sea. This past spring was the worst I have ever seen it in the Yucatan.

Here are some links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargassum
http://www.sargassoalliance.org/
http://seas-forecast.com/index.php

To me the most annoying thing is that rash it can cause when it touches you while swimming. It does not particularly itch or sting, but it looks horrible and lasts a long time.
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Old Jul 16, 15, 7:05 am
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I was in the Cancun area in May (north of Cancun) and was on a beach that had absolutely no seaweed problems at all. It was gorgeous! 30 minutes down the road it was horrible, masses in the water and on the beach, not unlike your photo.

When you go is a factor, exactly where you go is a factor, and weather patterns are a factor, but this year has been particularly bad - I have been in the area 5 times in the last 5 years, and have been pretty lucky, but people there a week before or a week after have had issues. It really is just luck of the draw in that area.
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Old Jul 16, 15, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by luxtrvlwrks View Post
It's called sargassum and it comes from the Sargasso Sea. This past spring was the worst I have ever seen it in the Yucatan.

Here are some links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargassum
http://www.sargassoalliance.org/
http://seas-forecast.com/index.php

To me the most annoying thing is that rash it can cause when it touches you while swimming. It does not particularly itch or sting, but it looks horrible and lasts a long time.
I've been going to Tulum annually for 15 years. The seaweed this year was the worst I've ever seen. I have an extreme reaction to sea weed. I get a rash and blisters all over my chest, thighs, and everywhere between. This year, because it was so bad, I never went into the sea beyond ankle deep wading and I STILL broke out in the seaweed dermatitis. I Nasty rash and blisters everywhere. Itchy, weeping mess. I've been home ten days and am just now starting to get over it.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 4:36 pm
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An update:

http://www.theguardian.com/environme...elling-seaweed

Mexican authorities will spend about $9.1m and hire 4,600 workers to clean up seaweed mounds accumulating along that country’s Caribbean coast. Part of the money will be used to determine whether the sargassum can be collected at sea before it reaches shore.
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Old Aug 24, 15, 5:18 pm
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Any idea on if it will be gone by October or November? (I'm wondering about the Playa del Carmen area, if that's any different than the Cancun area, but I doubt it's much different)
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Old Aug 24, 15, 9:06 pm
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Originally Posted by lakersown81 View Post
Any idea on if it will be gone by October or November? (I'm wondering about the Playa del Carmen area, if that's any different than the Cancun area, but I doubt it's much different)
I can't speak specifically about Playa del Carmen area....but I've been told it's widespread all the way down to Belize.
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Old Aug 25, 15, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by lakersown81 View Post
Any idea on if it will be gone by October or November? (I'm wondering about the Playa del Carmen area, if that's any different than the Cancun area, but I doubt it's much different)
If anyone can predict with accuracy those weather and climate change factors that are driving this seaweed mess, they are better than most of us.
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Old Aug 25, 15, 10:00 am
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Look up Tulum.info

There will probably be a thread about the seaweed. If not, start one. You'll get a current report and can follow along as your trip nears.
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Old Aug 25, 15, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by lakersown81 View Post
Any idea on if it will be gone by October or November? (I'm wondering about the Playa del Carmen area, if that's any different than the Cancun area, but I doubt it's much different)
This is likely a longstanding phenomenon, one that was likely not part of the computer programming that selected a fishermen's camp on a spit of land protecting Nichupté Lagoon as Mexico's next "hot" tourist destination, to be named Cancún (including a new city to be built nearby for those employed by and servicing the new Zona Hotelera.

This particular load of sargassum may be due to warming waters off South America that have seen cold water Magellanic penguins rescued from beaches in Brazil and caused a boom of sargassum that ends up on the coasts of Belize and Quintana Roo, courtesy of the same currents that require a lot of human intervention to keep the Zona Hotelera beaches replenished with sand.

When will it go away? The only answer possible is "¿Quien sabe?" This doesn't happen annually, it hasn't been well studied.

The amigos at Akumal Dive a Shop have an explanation of sargassum: http://www.akumaldiveshop.com/sargas...-this-seaweed/

Also see here: http://www.royalresortsnews.com/news...maya-analysis/

Last edited by JDiver; Aug 25, 15 at 10:24 am
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Old Aug 31, 15, 8:28 am
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I just returned from 8 days in Playa Del Carmen and there were absolutely no issues this past week from the seaweed. There was a tiny bit (normal amount) each morning on the beach and it was cleaned up by 8am. Of course this could change depending on location or ocean currents but a good sign.

Keba
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Old Aug 31, 15, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by KebaNYC View Post
I just returned from 8 days in Playa Del Carmen and there were absolutely no issues this past week from the seaweed. There was a tiny bit (normal amount) each morning on the beach and it was cleaned up by 8am. Of course this could change depending on location or ocean currents but a good sign.

Keba
Thanks for sharing!
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Old Aug 31, 15, 2:51 pm
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The LocoGringo live cameras in Akumal, Tulum and the one in Playa del Carmen showed rain and heavy seas this morning, but not much, if any, seaweed washing up on the beaches.
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Old Oct 19, 15, 10:12 am
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any recent visits or updates- might visit in November....

thanks!
FDW
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Old Oct 19, 15, 11:00 am
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The beach in front of the Presidente Intercontinental Cancun was free of seaweed the last week in September. Tulum, however, still had an abundance of seaweed.
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