Akumal Bay, Q.R. — Government agencies of Quintana Roo have created an official marine protection program for the Bay of Akumal that will enforce rules and protect the area’s natural resources.
The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) presented the new program, El Área de Refugio Bahía de Akumal (Refuge Area for the Protection of Marine Species in the Bay of Akumal), which will cover the coastal strip, Akumal Bay and X’Cacel-X’Cacelito.
The new program, which was officially published in the Journal of the Federation October 6, will include the protection of all species of sea turtles, fishes, soft coral and coral reef, mangroves and sea grasses.
The National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) will be administrator of the program and will be in charge of applying rules as well as the monitoring of those who enter the bay. They will also be responsible for ensuring the compliance of rules in coordination with the Federal Office of Environmental Protection (Profepa).
In collaboration with PROFEPA and the Secretariat of Marine (SEMAR), CONANP will monitor the surveillance operations in that area to ensure full compliance with new authorizations and maintain the tourist load, which only allows the entry of 6 tourists for each service provider.
The goals of the new protection program includes establishing a management system that will offer solutions to the threats being found in the current conservation zones as well as the responsible promotion of the area’s natural resources.
The protection program will also address the performance of any public and/or private work and activities that may affect the protection, recovery or restoration of the area of refuge and promote the development of research and environmental education programs that will promote community participation in the protection and conservation of the refuge area.
Some of the new guidelines set out by CONANP include specific times, group sizes and swimming times around the bay as well as a set maximum of 556 people per day.
For details of the publication, visit the Official Journal of the Federation.