Cancun, Q.R. — Numbers were down considerably this year as less than 200 blue crabs were assisted in crossing public roadways in Cancun.
Normally hundreds of blue crabs are seen scurrying across public roadways in Cancun each season as they make their way from mangroves to the sea, however this year, officials report only 166 blue crabs.
Through the Protection Program of the Blue Crab, more than 2,740 volunteers were on hand to help assist the crabs cross busy streets both day and night over the three day season. While deemed successful, numbers were down in the amount of crabs counted crossing the streets.
The busiest points monitored were Playa del Niño, Punta Nizuc, Malecón Tajamar and Playa Las Perlas where volunteers used a broom a dustpan to scoop up live crabs off streets and carry them to areas along the sea. Police were also on hand to deal with traffic.
On his last day in office, Cancun mayor Remberto Estrada Barba explained “We work with the environment, through actions that protect natural resources and encourage their care in the municipality,” adding that for 20 years, H. Benito Juarez City Council has participated in efforts with civil organizations, private companies, government agencies and educational institutions to protect the blue crab.
On their Twitter account, Ecología Cancún wrote “Gracias a todos los que participaron este 25, 26 y 27 de septiembre en el “Programa de Protección al Cangrejo Azul”. Agradecemos a todos los voluntarios y autoridades. En total se rescataron 166 organismos 126 hembras y 40 machos y un total de 2,741 participantes.”
They say that the blue crab contributes to the ecological balance by cleaning the mangrove from feeding on decomposing organic waste and preserving the balance of the food chain since its eggs serve as food for other species of marine and terrestrial animals.
Marco Loaeza Pacheco, director of the Department of Environmental and Education for Municipal Ecology says that there are still three days in October when volunteers will head out again, mostly at night when the crabs tend to move, to help with their crossing.
He says last year they counted 1,691 blue crabs during the season, a drastic difference from this year’s figures of only 166 so far.