Sargazo UASA



Pelagic Sargassum

Since 2011, massive amounts of pelagic sargassum landings have affected the ecology, tourism, fisheries, and human health of many countries in the Caribbean and West Africa. Sargassum is the common name for 359 marine species of the brown macroalgae genus Sargassum. Two of these species spend their entire life cycle on the ocean's surface (S. fluitans and S. natans). Historically, their higher abundance occurred in the Sargasso Sea (North Atlantic), with occasional patches detaching and drifting to the Northwest Caribbean and the Yucatán Peninsula by ocean currents and wind. Since 2014, massive periodical landings of these algae have also affected beaches along the Caribbean coast of Mexico.

The Unidad Académica de Sistemas Arrecifales (UASA) conducts research to try to understand the causes and consequences of pelagic sargassum influxes. This information is essential to create adequate management strategies to reduce environmental, economic, and human health impacts. Various research projects and student theses that focus on these topics have been launched since 2015, with the principal findings being published in scientific journals. In UASA we also conduct public awareness activities on these topics. Collaboration with national and international research organizations has been crucial in furthering our understanding of this phenomenon. This website contains a list of past, present, and future initiatives involving pelagic sargassum research at the UASA.