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“Belize could be affected by huge mass of sargassum headed for Mexico,” experts say

Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019. 3:09 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: A mass of sargassum, estimated to be the size of Jamaica is headed for Mexico and Belize could be affected by it.

Satellite images from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States, show that the floating island of sargassum is 340 miles long and is expected to hit Mexico
this week. Popular tourist destinations such as Cancun and Tulum are already preparing for the impact that it will have on their tourism product.

The sargassum seaweed phenomenon, which started affecting the region around 2011, is the product of rising ocean temperatures and an increase in the water’s nitrogen content due to fertilizers being washed into the ocean. When the seaweed accumulates on shorelines, the
unsightly piles of sargassum ruin beach scenery, and the plants produce a putrid smell when they begin to decay.

Sargassum first appeared in Belize in 2014, and since then has become an annual problem for tourist destinations where it appears. In 2018 the Government of Belize (GOB) had to take several measures to assist with properties affected by the sargassum.

It remains to be seen how much of the incoming floating island will affect Belize.  

 

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