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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of March 30, 2015

Beginning in December 2002, Insider was proudly the first website to provide readers the Cozumel News in English.

Articles are slected from local newspapers which we feel will be of interest to our diverse audience. These articles are then translated into English. We cannot always investigate the veracity of a particular article but offer these translations as a reflection of the Cozumel community news just as reporters write it for Por Esto, Diario de Quintana Roo, Novedades and El Seminario and many other sources.

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Note: All translated articles are the property of Cozumel Insider and cannot be used, displayed or reproduced without express written permission from Cozumel Insider.

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Cozumel Arrivals: 29 Ships this Week
3/29 - Numbers remain very high this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals show 29 ships registered to dock for the first partial week of April 2015. This is 1 more than the number of ships last week and 9 more than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season." With Easter and Spring Break Season now upon us, an estimated 87,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 7 million dollars behind in the local economy.

High season for cruise ship arrivals typically runs from November 15 - April 15 each year with the remaining 7 months of the year considered "low season."

This week Puerta Maya pier will be a big economic winner as 10 ships dock there, also 10 will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will also see 8 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have 1 ship arrival with passengers tendering in.

This week begins with 4 ships docking on Monday, 7 on Tuesday, 5 ships Wednesday, 5 on Thursday, 5 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 3 ships in port and Sunday will see -0- ships in port.
2016 World Cup Triathlon Coming to Cozumel
It seems promising that the 2016 World Cup Triathlon will take place in Cozumel. According to a statement by the Governor of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge Angulo, "We are working diligently to get this event to the island”. The Governor urged employers "to join the investment efforts to bring more sporting events to the island of the swallows".

The Triathlon World Cup is scheduled to take place in September 2016 in Mexico with the expected participation of approximately 7,000 athletes without taking into account the 20 to 23 thousand visitors that it will attract as spectators to the competition.

The triathlons that have gained popularity since 2009 in Cozumel have achieved the participation of some two thousand 800 athletes in a single event. The economic benefits that would be generated by the ITU World Cup would be in the millions.
Another Palapa Under Scrutiny
Authorities deny that there is favoritism to apply sanctions to another palapa which was built next to "El Mirador" in the eastern part of the island. The Director of Urban Development, Melissa Angulo Gamez said that the second palapa could be suspended if they do not have the proper documentation and permissions.

Similarly, Angulo Gamez denies what the President of the environmental group "CITYMAR", Guadalupe Álvarez Chulim stated that in recent days, it was reported that the two palapas that are on the other side of the island were closed. "The representative knows that the first is closed, but the second which is located in the area of the overlook is not. We have to wait for responses from SEMARNAT and PROFEPA to check if it is an environmental impact," he stressed.

Finally, the interview declared that the owners have fifteen days to regularize and demonstrate their paperwork; otherwise they will be suspended as it was with the palapa belonging to the former Director of Ecology and Environment, Eliot Reyes Novelo.
Maritime Authorities Assure Safer Boats
Maritime authorities have carried out inspections at various points on the island of providers of nautical services to assure that they comply with all rules and regulations to reduce the risk of accidents in Cozumel. ‘There are approximately 500 tourists vessels registered’ stated an employee of Port Captain's Office and that they carried out inspections to verify all vessels particularly those who provide the service of parasailing.

Jaime Gómez, Technical Inspector of the Maritime Department, explained that tourist boats, parasailing, jet skis and boats with glass bottoms must comply with the safety equipment required and have documentation to prove so. As far as security is concerned, the minimum requirements are radio communication, floats, lifejackets, flares and a fire extinguisher. Nautical tourism permits, insurance and certificates of maritime safety are mandatory in terms of documentation. If anomalies are detected, the maritime secretary assures that they will not operate until all issues are corrected.
The Bleaching Affect of Coral in Cozumel
The future of the coral in Cozumel is not as bright as one might think. While natural bleaching has decreased, it is clear that there are still threats that could affect the life of corals or at least we must develop actions aimed at reversing this type of damage.

The director of the Unafisco in Cozumel, Christopher Gonzalez Baca, recalled that 2012 had an important impact on the reefs, and the passage of time has noted an improvement in this aspect and now the percentage of bleaching in reefs is less. Corals depend largely on algae called "zooxanthellae", which through so-called photosynthesis, provide the support they need to survive, creating a symbiosis between coral and the algae, he added. Unfortunately, there are other threats such as the so-called anthropogenic effects such as pollution, the destruction of the mangroves, the erosion of the soil, deforestation, overfishing, the indiscriminate extraction, excesses in the marine-based tourism and climate change are some of the factors that could destabilize the ecosystem. Similarly, the interviewee pointed out that the rise in temperatures, due to climatic changes, causes bleaching of the coral making them weak and brittle against the diseases.

He dismissed the idea that today we have a significant mortality of corals. On the contrary, many have recovered significantly and today are considered healthy, but they are always at risk and will always be monitored to find out their conditions. It is important to mention that the reefs are natural breakwater that they self-repair and protect the coast. They also provide food and protection for a host of sea creatures, like sea urchins, turtles, crabs and lobsters, among others.
Animal Abuse Regulation Now in Affect
Currently there is a regulation of Animal welfare that punishes any type of abuse with imprisonment; therefore it is important that citizen's be responsible in the care of their pets. The intention is that the people understand the importance and the responsibility of having a pet.

The director of ecology on the island, David Viana Martinez, said that the regulation of: “Animal Welfare of Quintana Roo” contemplates this type of sanctions against those who assault or abuse their pets such as keeping or leaving dogs on rooftops without protection. The official stated that before a penalty is applied, authorities will always try to speak with the animal owner and encourage them to correct these errors. Should they ignore the warning, then a sanction could be applied.

With regard to attacks of dogs that have been reported in recent weeks, the official noted that precisely with this “Animal welfare regulation” he intends to address this type of problem. "For now what we will do is recommend that the owners of aggressive dogs use a leash and muzzle when out walking their pets and therefore avoid incidents with the population. The majority of attacks by dogs are due to oversights of their owners so we will continue attending to these reports from the public to prevent more attacks from occurring," explained Viana.

Finally, he said that even though it is not serious, animal abuse exists in some houses, so citizens must become aware of the responsibility of their pet at the time of purchase since a pet is a living being.
Ban in Affect for Removing Conch
The ban for the taking of pink and white Conch in the state of Quintana Roo came into force on March 21st and will stand until February 28, 2017. The capture of this mollusk is now strictly prohibited. From 2018 and thereafter, the ban will be established in two periods, during the entire month of February and then from May 1st to November 30th every year.

According to a Federal official, the reserve of Banco Chinchorro has shown signs of recovery of the conch due to the ban which started in 2013, with a slight increase in the indicators with respect to previous years, so the authorities have determined that the next two years could show a larger re-population .
Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Visit Tulum
The glorious beaches of Tulum served as a backdrop for the new calendar of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (DCC), considered one of the most successful sports franchises in the world. The most famous cheerleaders in the NFL traveled to the beaches of the Caribbean Sea for their pictures corresponding to the schedule for next year and shared via social networks their stay at the destination.

According to the information gathered from their official Twitter account, the cheerleaders arrived at the destination on March 21st. It is not the first time that the franchise has visited the State of Quintana Roo. They have previously visited the beaches of Cancun and Cozumel. During their stay, they took photographs for calendars and recorded videos among other activities.

The official website of the cheerleaders is promoting the 2016 Calendar Edition of the Cheerleaders in bathing suits.
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December 24, 2014 (Most Recent) Comprehensive Mexico Travel Warning
Because we are continually asked about travel safety in Mexico and Cozumel, INSIDER always maintains the most recent, complete version of the U.S. State Department Mexico Travel Warning HERE on our website for traveler convenience.

The good news continues to be that there are currently no regional security warnings in place that cover Quintana Roo, Cancun, Cozumel or Costa Maya so make vacation plans now to get here for some fun in the sun!

The Mexico Travel Warning dated December 24, 2014 from the Department of State can also be viewed in its entirety on the Department of State website.
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