Sargazo algae attacks Mexico’s pristine beaches

Americas Now

A seaweed invasion is threatening Mexico’s pristine beaches and coral reefs.  And tourism is taking a hit, as inhabitants and authorities look for innovative solutions to fight the ubiquitous algae.

Beaches around the world are being choked by a proliferation of macro-algae called sargazo. The overgrown seaweed has formed a 5,000 mile “island” extending from the Gulf of Mexico to West Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. On Mexico’s Caribbean Coast, the seaweed invasion is threatening both tourism and the coral reef.

Correspondent Alasdair Baverstock reports on how residents and entrepreneurs are dealing with this invasion on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, where 300 tons of rotting sargazo was spat out by the ocean each month, earlier in 2019. While the municipal government deployed armies of laborers, they couldn’t hold back the tide of dying organic matter.