Large amounts of seaweed, or sargassum, in Playa del Carmen disturb the beach times. Anyone who is currently vacationing in and around Playa del Carmen has certainly noticed the amount of seaweed. This is actually not seaweed; the correct expression would be brown algae or sargassum. In this article we explain how brown algae are formed, why sargassum is found in Playa del Carmen and on the mainland of the Yucatan Peninsula, and how to escape the beaches with seagrass.
Called “Sargasso” in Spanish, these algae are actually something natural and appear temporarily in many parts of the Caribbean. They are washed ashore by currents from the Sargasso Sea, a sea between Europe and America, where the brown algae come from.
More seagrass in Playa del Carmen due to pollutants in the sea
Seaweed in Playa del Carmen: Algeas
In the last ten years, however, this phenomenon has massively increased and leads to algae plagues. This is mainly due to the food industry in North America. Because they flush fertilizers with toxic substances and tons of soy and corn from the animal feed into the sea. As Galileo.tv reports, algae form from this huge nutrient surplus in the water. This so-called algae bloom is found mainly in the summer months on the eastern coasts of the Yucatan Peninsula.
The environmental organization Mighty Earth has discovered that, in particular, an American company, the Tyson Feed and Meat Facility, has carried 104 tons of pollutants into the sea only in the last 10 years. According to their own statements, they are now looking for more environmentally friendly methods of meat production. However, not only the North American industry is responsible for the pollution of the Mexican seas. Excessive hotel construction, land-use corruption and sewage and garbage problems increase the problem. Although legal regulations are in place, they are literally nullified by well-established, corrupt systems.
The algae are important for the environment – in the right concentration. For example, marine turtles eat seagrass in Playa del Carmen and hide their nests below. But the algae in Mexico disturb the idyllic picture of a holiday beach. If you want to escape the algae during your vacation on the Yucatan Peninsula, you should visit the islands off the coast. Islands have beaches in all four directions. By currents, the algae usually occur only in one side and that’s the East Coast at the moment.
Escape the algaes and come to Yucatan’s islands
Beach on Cozumel withour algeas
A day trip to Cozumel offers many opportunities to escape the algae on the mainland. For example, in the morning you can book a snorkeling trip on Cozumel and in the afternoon discover one of the beautiful beaches on the west side.The Punta Sur National Park usually has very little algae because of its southern orientation. You can get there, for example, with our Cozumel Jeep Tour. In the evening there is a wonderful sunset on the west coast of Cozumel.