Tourists walk past large quantities of seaweed piling up on the beach in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, Mexico. Photo / AP
Beaches in the Mexican resort of Cancun have been coated with a thick
layer of brown seaweed, forcing tourists to take their sunloungers
An estimated ninety tons of sargassum algae have
washed up on the pristine white sands of Mexico’s most famous beach
resort. The seaweed invasion, which appears to have hit most of the
Caribbean this year, is generally considered a nuisance and has prompted
some hotel cancellations from tourists.
Mexican authorities have brought in diggers and tractors to clear the beaches, in the hope of convincing tourists to stay.
scientists consider washed-up seaweed an important part of the coastal
eco-system and say that it plays a role in beach nourishment.
scientists, however, have also associated the large quantities of
seaweed this year in the Caribbean region with higher than normal
temperatures and low winds, both of which influence ocean currents.
Since May thick carpets of the weed have been covering beaches from Texas to Tobago.