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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of May 30, 2016

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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NEWS Archives:
Cozumel Arrivals: 17 Ships this Week
5/29- Numbers improve this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals show 17 ships registered to dock for the first week of June 2016. This is 6 more than the number of ships last week and 3 less than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season" number. As the medium low Summer season gets underway for 2016, an estimated 51,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 4 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 host to 12 ships docking there, 2 ships will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 3 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- arrivals with passengers tendering in.

This week begins with 2 ships docking on Monday, 4 on Tuesday, 3 ships Wednesday, 2 on Thursday, 3 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 3 ships in port and Sunday will see -0- ships in port.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Bird Researchers Did Breach Terms of Ecology
The Attorney for Federal Protection to the Environment (PROFEPA) found that the group of researchers who were caught capturing endemic birds last week from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the license of Scientific Collection issued by SEMARNAT, in the municipality of Cozumel, Quintana Roo.

The Directorate of Ecology of the municipality of Cozumel and the staff of the Federal Delegation of PROFEPA carried out the verification of the license of Scientific Collection of the researchers from the Department of Evolutionary Biology of the Faculty of Sciences of the UNAM, who performed various activities of Ornithological (bird) research. The Federal inspectors detected that the authorization, issued by SEMARNAT, endorses only the collection of two specimens per species per location which are not at risk according to Federal regulations.

However, the researchers collected 5 species of birds including the endemic Cozumel Emerald Hummingbird (Chlorostilbon forficatus), which is listed under the category of “special protection”. According to the license, UNAM researchers are forced to send, in writing, the work program to the delegation of the SEMARNAT in the State, prior to the start of field activities, but the head of the group of researchers of the UNAM said that in the case of Quintana Roo, there was no such program.

Once receiving notification of the illegal bird captures, the researchers were intercepted at the Calica beach location. Once receiving the report of the Directorate of Ecology the group was asked to leave the city.
Sand Extraction Still Not Possible For Hotels
The municipality of Cozumel is looking for ways to resolve the request of sand made by various hoteliers on the island, the problem is that the Government does not permit the extraction of sand from the sand dunes of the eastern part. In this regard, the Director of Urban Development on the island, Melissa Angulo Gámez, pointed out that indeed there is a demand for sand by hoteliers and tourist companies.

There is concern and interest of solving this need, but several procedures should be followed to comply with the law. She said that discussions have taken place with hoteliers and the obstacles that exist for the extraction have been the main topic, but there lacks confidence in solving this issue.

She recognized that if there was any way to solve this legal problem of sand removal, there needs to be a logical withdrawal which must be accompanied by an environmental impact statement to ensure that there will be no ecological and environmental damage.
Continued Study of Lionfish Damage in the Ecosystem
In the area of the Marine Park of Cozumel Island the presence of lionfish, an invasive species and predator of reef ecosystems, has declined. This news comes from preliminary data from a study that was conducted the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) and the National Association of Operators of Tourist Activities (ANOAAT).

Christopher González Baca, Director of Conanp confirmed that the volume of lionfish per hectare is very low. Although he apologized for not having the exact data on hand, he said that their presence has decreased in shallow waters, mainly in the area of reefs, but that they still have significant presence in deeper areas. Questioned on how one can do this monitoring in an area covering a surface of 11, 987 acres, he said that this responsibility rests with the members of ANOAAT and said that the monitoring that takes place in the zone of the Marine Park is a good reference. In terms of the impact of the presence of this marine organism, it has been indicated that the stomach contents of the lion fish are analyzed when caught to determine in what area of the reef the fish fed.

Jose Angel Canto Noh, Chairman of the Cozumel Fishing Cooperative, and Damian Miranda, President of the National Chamber of the Restaurant Industry (CANIRAC), stated that there is currently a shortage of lionfish, a species that began to be marketed as an exotic dish in restaurants on the island.
Cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula Will be Recreated in 3D
Beginning at the end of this month, a digital registry will begin that will set up a data base of cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is a project in the making that aims to reveal the great Mayan water system consisting of about 6,000 cenotes, according to conservative figures.

Underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda Alanis, responsible for the project, who received the annual appointment of “National Geographic Emerging Explorer” in 2012, explained that the "census" will generate videos of immersive spaces that within the worldview of the Maya, ancient and present, are a sacred threshold that enables the communication of one cosmic plane to another. To begin to integrate this great waterway puzzle, which is distributed in the 145,000 square kilometers covering the Yucatán Peninsula divided in the States of Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo, specialists have drawn a first route that starts from the South, on the border with Belize, and that covers 10 areas of Quintana Roo.

According to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the method used to accomplish this task is a computer program capable of processing thousands of photographic images that are captured from multiple angles. This will create models in 3D. The program was created by the National Geographic Society, Corey Jaskolski, an engineer, and reached good results in 2013 in the Black Hole underwater archaeological project.

At the end of May, a group of archaeologists, biologists, geologists, and technological innovators, among which is Corey Jaskolski, will formally begin the task of the great Mayan waterway, a major initiative that adds the efforts of INAH, the National Geographic Society, the Technological University of the Mayan Riviera, and the Bank of Development of Latin America (CAF). The initiative has an anthropological component that seeks to understand the relationship between the current Mayan populations and the cenote, about the respect or not that hovers over these systems which are symbols of the underworld, the duality of day/night, hot and cold, sterility-fertility and death.
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April 15, 2016 (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 LINK /traveladvisory 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 April 15, 2016 from the Department of State can also be viewed in its entirety on the Department of State website

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