Cozumel, Q.R. — Four Cozumel fishermen have been detained by elements of the Navy of Mexico after being found looting sea turtle eggs. The four men were detained after park rangers from the National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (Conanp) surprised them after responding to the report of illegal snail fishing.
Personnel from Conanp were alerted to the sighting of a vessel named Victor near Punta Sur within the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park. The complaint was for the presumption of illegal queen conch fishing.
With Navy of Mexico escorts, Conanp personnel proceeded to locate vessel Victor and its crew. Once there, authorities found the boat was not fishing snail, but transporting looted sea turtle eggs. On board, they found more than 100 eggs hidden inside a plastic 4-liter bottle.
The four men were detained and handed over to the Attorney General’s Office in Cancun since stealing sea turtle eggs is a federal crime. Their boat was also seized.
According to area fishermen, the vessel had been reported before for the illegal fishing of queen conch within the reefs.