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Proposed fish refuge project could see end to poaching

Cancun, Q.R. — A new project that would see a fish refuge installed in the state has been presented to government officials.

National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) is hoping to get approval to create a fish refuge on Nizuc Canal. The project, which would cover just over 81,000 square meters, would be between Cancun and Isla Mujeres with intentions to help curb over fishing and poaching.

Arturo González González, head of the National Marine Park Costa Occidental Isla Women, Punta Cancun de la Conanp, explained that the project was presented to the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA) to secure fishing for the next five years.

He says a fish refuge would promote conservation, preservation and induce sustainable use. He says they have worked with fishing cooperatives of Punta Nizuc, since the lagoon area and the National Park have fauna exchange, and found there are at least 18 species of fish that go to spawn or reproduce there, then stay inside the mangroves.

Conanp says that people catch fish illegally from bridges and docks and poach from the reefs in the national park where they have identified that at least 10 percent of the boats that enter the area are illegal.

Resources for the project have been offered by the subsidy of the Conservation Program for Sustainable Development.