Jan 212015
Mein (I hope I spelled his name right) is one of many worker that remove the sargasso from in front of the resorts every day.

Mein (I hope I spelled his name right) is one of many worker that remove the Sargasso from in front of the resorts every day.

What is Sargasso?

Sargasso is the seaweed that is pictured and has been accumulating on the beautiful beaches of Belize and throughout the Caribbean for the past few years. It is not often talked about in the tourist pamphlets, or highlighted in resort and real estate ads when pictures of the pristine beaches are inserted.

The “unbelizeable truth”.

In an effort to provide honest unbiased information, I will try to show “the good, the bad, and the ugly” parts of Belize. While we have found only a few procedural things that make us scratch our heads and with an inside voice ask, why? We have not come across many things to categorize as bad or ugly things. I would have to say the seaweed problem is one of the ugly things.

Where does Sargasso come from?

Sargasso comes from the “Sargasso Sea”, which simply put is a floating mat of seaweed several thousand square miles in size. It is located in the North Atlantic and is held together by several ocean currents which surround it including the Gulf Stream to the north. How it gets all the way to Belize is apparently not known for sure, but as always climate change is often blamed for possible changes to the ocean currents and/or changes to the wind patterns that blow it towards the shores of Belize.

Will Sargasso ruin my vacation?

Sargasso should not bother you too much if you move to Belize, or if you are here on vacation to dive or snorkel on the coral reef that Belize is renown for. It is only in the mass pictured right at the shore, the beaches are still beautiful and of course the reef and water beyond is clean, clear, blue and seaweed free. If it does gather in front of your resort while you are here on vacation, don’t fret you will never have to walk very far to find a place to walk into the water or to find one of the long piers Belize is known for to jump off the end of. We have found several places that are always free of Sargasso if we want to go for a swim. We live on the lagoon side (west side), and although we don’t swim there (because I’m told there are crocodiles) we seldom see any Sargasso there.

So who likes Sargasso?

I see Mein the man in the picture every morning as we go for our walk on the beach, he is always busy and while we don’t talk much, we do recognize each other and say hi. He is always smiling, maybe not because he likes Sargasso but because it does provide employment. He and his two coworkers work for the resort where this particular 200 feet of beach is located. Beginning early in the morning they clean this stretch of the beach. There will be a couple of guys doing this in front of each resort or on each stretch of beach where the Sargasso accumulates. It is cleaned up and hauled away to be used for landfill in low lying or damp areas.  Also check out this post from “Belizelogue.com” for the unbelizeable truth on the beaches of Belize.

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  2 Responses to “Sargasso and the Beaches Of Belize”

  1. Sargasso is also a staple food for marine turtles. They must be thriving!

    • Thanks again for your time to comment, I appreciate it. The turtles are not doing as well as you might expect. You are right that the sargasso does house a variety of small creatures and provides a food source for the turtles once they make it to the sea. I understand however that as the sargasso piles up on shores, it is actually detrimental to the eggs and hatchlings buried in the sand.

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