Cozumel, Q.R. — An inspection from the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) has confirmed that Hotel Secrets Aura on the island of Cozumel does not have the proper permits to release sea turtles.
The inspection came after several allegations and citizen complaints that the hotel had not only fenced a sea turtle nesting area, but had also hand-released hatchlings for tourist purposes.
In response to those complaints, Profepa staff confirmed that the hotel failed to report the nests and also lacks authorization from the Directorate General of Wildlife to release baby turtles for tourist purposes.
On site, Profepa staff found a nest of eggs that had been sectioned with mesh, dated and headed with four one-meter tall podiums of color photos of the adult turtle species. These efforts were reportedly carried out by the hotel’s department of environmental sustainability.
While on site, officials also discovered that the hotel held an event on July 28 where they released 75 sea turtle hatchlings. Since the hotel could not provide the necessary authorization to hold such an event, Profepa determined that they had done so in violation of the General Wildlife Law and will be sanctioned accordingly.