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Social aggravation as diver photographed holding fish in protected waters

Cozumel, Q.R. — Annoyance has hit social media platforms after a diver shows himself holding a Splendid Toadfish in a protected marine area of Cozumel.

The diver is seen to be with a group, however, he is photographed alone holding a Splendid Toadfish while a nearby person attempts to pet it. The photo has triggered aggravation due to the lack of surveillance in the marine parks.

Species inside the parks are protected. Visitors into any of the protected parks, including the Reefs National Park of Cozumel, are forbidden to touch, step on or collect any live species inside the park including sea grass, corals, fish and other marine life.

The photo of the diver catching and holding a live Splendid Toadfish shows the lack of vigilance by divers. Although the Splendid Toadfish is not listed as endangered in Mexico, it is on the red list, classified as vulnerable with environmentalists noting “the smallest alteration of the environment could significantly affect its population”.