A person in protective gear is raking a large accumulation of brown seaweed on a beach, with clear blue water and a boat in the background.

“Alert: Cancun Beaches Under Siege by Massive Sargassum Invasion”

Esteban Amaro Mauricio, leader of the Sargassum Monitoring Network, warns that the coastlines of Quintana Roo are set to witness a significant influx of sargassum seaweed in the coming weeks, from May to August. Cancun's beaches are expected to bear the brunt of this invasion.

According to the Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network, the beaches with the highest anticipated sargassum presence are those in Cancun, including Playa del Niño, Puerto Juarez, and Puerta del Mar beach. Mauricio estimates that "thousands of tons, around 500,000" will accumulate, primarily in the southern municipalities of Mahahual, Xcalak, Sian Ka’an, Solidaridad, and Tulum.

The Monitoring Network keeps a close eye on 100 beaches in Isla Mujeres, Benito Juarez, Puerto Morelos, Solidaridad, Cozumel, and Tulum. Of these, 32 are predicted to experience a significant increase in sargassum, starting from the Riviera Cancún beach near the Moon Palace hotel, extending all the way to Tulum.

The concern lies not only in the volume of sargassum but also in its rapid growth rate. The seaweed can double its biomass in less than 20 days. As the sargassum decomposes on the shore, it consumes large amounts of oxygen, leading to anoxia and the release of toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide and methane. These gases pose a serious risk to human health and are responsible for the widespread death of many species.