Princess Hotels explains: What is Seaweed?

By | 7 November, 2018 | 2 comments



Seaweed is a type of macro algae, usually brownish or blackish green that can grow up to several meters long. Numerous species of algae are distributed along the moderate and tropical oceans of the world, where they generally inhabit shallow waters and coral reefs. One of the main habitats of the seaweed is the sea that bears his name: Seaweed Sea. Due to the absence of land borders allows the seaweed continues in constant search for food, which allows it to grow and develop.

Seaweed is very important for marine life since it acts as a refuge for many species of animals. It is also very important for marine animals, such as young sea turtles, as these use the Seaweed refuge in the sea and as a source of food until they reach a size where they can survive elsewhere. Anyway, when the seaweed invades the beaches it can become an obstacle in the walk of the newly-born turtles towards the sea.

The arrival of seaweed to the coasts of Quintana Roo in the Riviera Maya began to be documented in 1970. Subsequently, in 2015, an atypical arrival of seaweed was detected, which has been repeated this 2018. This significant increase in the amount of Seaweed is still being investigated. There are several factors that could explain the proliferation of seaweed in the area. These include:

  • The increase in sea temperature
  • The change of marine currents due to climate change
  • The nutrients of agricultural fertilizers
  • Wastewater from cities that end up in the sea
  • These elements could cause algae to flourish and increase in size and quantity.


What actions are being carried out in Riviera Maya to control seaweed?

El Sargazo Challenge

Faced with this situation, and to avoid affecting tourist activities in the Riviera Maya, government authorities have taken action. They created a work group to look for efficient actions that can contain the seaweed and clean the beautiful beaches of this popular destination. A team responsible for analyzing all the projects and managing the stock of monetary and human resources was established. In this way, stop the arrival of seaweed to the Mexican coast.

One of the first measures focused on the beach cleaning throughout the region. With the indispensable support of the citizenship it was possible to remove several tons of seaweed from all over the state.

In the month of August: the first Seaweed barrier was installed in Cancun, which aims to contain, recover and confine seaweed. These barriers are composed of two rings with different functions:

  • The first ring is located closer to the seashore. It is designed to stop the seaweed so that it can be subject to mechanical sweeping.
  • The second ring is located 300 meters from the first and serves to stop the seaweed on the high seas that will later be collected by a boat.
  • You can enjoy days with the clean, wonderful and idyllic Caribbean beach. The presence of seaweed is somewhat irregular due to marine currents and wind. In addition, research is being conducted on what the best use of seaweed may be. This raw material exists in several products present in the pharmaceutical industry, cosmetics, etc.

What do we do at Princess Hotels Riviera Maya?

El Sargazo Challenge

  • At Princess Hotels Riviera Maya we, always, clean the beach in the morning so that you can enjoy the beach during your vacation. Also we have a tractor that, on seaweed days, helps our beach cleaning staff in its cleaning.
  • In a timely manner, more extensive cleanings of the beaches are organized. In these events, our regular staff is joined by other hotel departments that work together to eliminate both cigarette butts and seaweed from the beach.
  • Recently, the #SargazoChallenge has been created. This is a challenge to the Hotels in the Riviera Maya to join us in eliminating seaweed from the beach on the days that there’s seaweed.

Categories: Mexico


  1. Arlette says:

    Buenas tardes,

    Estoy pensando ir a su hotel en la riviera maya en Agosto. Quiero saber cuáles son las medidas actuales que están tomando para el sargazo?

    Muchas gracias y saludos

    • ¡Muchas gracias por tu comentario Arlette!

      La situación del sargazo cambia mucho día con día y semana con semana, lo que podemos comentarte, es que en días recientes ha recalado en mayor cantidad, pero tenemos cuadrillas de limpieza que trabajan para mantener la playa en la mejor calidad posible.

      Un saludo

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