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Cozumel director says boats dropping anchor in reef area will be fined

Cozumel, Q.R. — The director of natural protected areas for Cozumel says that boats who drop anchor among the reefs will be penalized.

The announcement comes after several incidents with a boat that repeatedly dropped its anchor in the Cozumel Reef Park, causing damage. The incident was reported to the Directorate General and Regional with a request to sanction those responsible.

Reports say the alleged perpetrator is Francisco Ribón Gallardo, the private secretary of former governor Roberto Borge, who was involved with a boat and yacht rental company.

Cristopher González Baca, director of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) and director of marine park of Cozumel said, “We already did management with offices of the Regional Directorate and with central offices to take care of it in another way since this person did not
respond to us.”

“We cannot allow this type of thing to happen. This has been an issue that the service providers have called to our attention.

“We cannot allow a person without criteria, a person without any correct conduct, to act like this in any way,” he added.

In November, a boat in Mahahual also dropped its anchor among coral reef. The boat belonged to a dive company and was reported by local Mahahual businessmen.

The company was reported after underwater patrols carried out an inspection to verify the condition of the reef. Divers found large pieces of coral had been broken away from the reef, damage that takes up to 50 years to repair.

Locals say that was not an isolated incident