The Sargassum Committee has done extensive research on boats as both a stand-alone solution and as a supplementary solution for use together with a sargassum barrier. Our research indicates that boats alone cannot properly chase down and remove all the sargassum that floats towards Half Moon Bay. And using boats to suck up sargassum from behind a barrier is not necessary if the barrier is configured to take advantage of prevailing winds to deflect the sargassum back out to sea or to a collection area.
Boats are expensive and provide none of the passive control that comes from a barrier. In other words they need ongoing maintenance and always require a crew to operate them. They also cannot be operated 24 hours and day and require a safe location for mooring. Boats are also impacted by prevailing winds and sea conditions before a barrier would be and cannot always anticipate from which direction the sargassum might be coming.
The Mexican Navy is no longer willing to deploy boats except in areas that are also protected by barriers.
Every single pound of sargassum that is collected by a boat must be treated and properly disposed of. Disposal can be expensive and difficult to monitor. Service providers who don’t properly dispose of the sargassum can cause significant environmental harm to groundwater and mangroves.