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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of August 24, 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: 14 Ships this Week
8/23 - Numbers remain low this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals rise to 14 ships registered to dock for the fourth week of August 2015. This is 2 more than the number of ships last week and 6 less than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season." As low season continues, an estimated 42,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 3.4 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 the big economic winner as 10 ships dock there, only 2 ships will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will also see 2 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- arrivals with passengers tendering in.

This week begins with 3 ships docking on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 1 ship Wednesday, 2 on Thursday, 2 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
Cozumel's Planetarium Officially Opened
The scientific, technological and cultural worlds of Cozumel merge at the new Cha'an Ka'an Planetarium which features immersive 3-D technology and is now officially open to the public. Cha'an Ka'an which means "observing the sky" is the third complex of its kind in Quintana Roo forming a network of facilities of this nature which are unique in Latin America..

In his message, Enrique Cabrero Mendoza said that he is proud of the opening of the Planetarium of Cozumel, the most advanced in Mexico and Latin America and noted that Quintana Roo is the State of the Republic with the most planetariums, "reflecting strong interest in the disclosure and dissemination of scientific knowledge." Víctor Alcérreca Sánchez, Director General of the Quintanarroense Council of Science and Technology (COQCYT), explained that two aspects of work have been traced: the first is to visit all communities with the project called "Science for All," and the second that is the construction of the planetary network in major cities. Mayor Fredy Marrufo Martin indicated that the Planetarium has modern facilities and cutting-edge technology, worthy of the main tourist destination of cruises in Mexico and Latin America.

The Planetarium of Cozumel has rooms of projection, museography of the Mayan culture, an auditorium, museum of water history, terraces, a library, astronomical observatory, educational workshops and spaces that orient the environmental preservation of natural resources and the diversity of the heritage of the State.
Cozumel Hosts FCCA Convention Oct 5 - 9th
The State’s Secretariat of Tourism, Laura Fernández Piña extended the invitation to Governors and holders of the branch of all entities to participate in the next Convention of Cruisers of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) to be held in Cozumel from October 5th through 9th 2015.

Fernandez Piña explained that she managed to bring the world's largest cruise event involving 19 main cruise lines operating more than 100 vessels in Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America to Cozumel. Quintana Roo is proud to host this Convention of cruisers whose importance represents this industry for the State's tourism, and recalled that in 2014 the ports of Cozumel and Mahahual were preferred by the cruise ship passengers, closing with 1,267 cruises and 3,779,576 passengers, figures that reaffirmed the leadership of the entity.

Some of the topics scheduled to be discussed at the meeting will be gourmet tourism, social tourism and border tourism considered of great importance today for the different entities of the country.
Cozumel Sees an Increase in Turtle Nests
An 18% increase in marine turtle nests have been recorded by the Direction of Environment and Ecology (AMD) of the municipality of Cozumel in comparison to 2014, and we are still missing almost three months until the end of the season. If the trend continues, 2015 could break the record of nesting of 2013, when it recorded a total of 5,708 nests.

Data provided by Lemuel Menases Mena Vega, Coordinator of the Area of Manifestation and Environmental Impact of AMD, pointed out that 2015 has already exceeded the number of nests recorded in 2014. The 2014 season recorded 2,813 nests of the green species green and 460 for loggerhead turtles. In 2013, the chelonian green made 5,482 nests and the loggerhead 226. "Until the last count that was made on August 11, we saw 707 nests more than last year and we are halfway through the season," stated Mena Vega.

Brigades of volunteers and staff of AMD recorded between 90 and 100 nests per night, so biologists estimate that at the end of the season in the month of October, we may be counting up to 6,000 nests or more.

Anyone interested in joining one of the turtle program brigades to help or liberate baby turtles should either

1) visit the City Ecology Offices located on 65 Ave. & Calle 33 Monday to Friday from 8 - 3pm for more details or
2) Click Here to Reserve Spaces with the Fundacion de Parques & Museos Turtle Brigade
Turtle Hatchlings Not Surviving Due to Kelp
Compared to 2014, the Punta Sur turtle camp reported an increase of 20.94% marine turtle nests this season, according to statistics provided by Héctor Gonzalez Cortes, Director of Conservation and Environmental Education for the Foundation of Parks and Museums, who added that Quintana Roo is considered a place of utmost importance in turtle nesting.

With the permission of the Dirección General de Vida Silvestre, which depends on the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), Ecotourism Park Punta Sur, operates a nine-kilometers-long turtle camp. However, the rate of mortality of hatchlings of sea turtles could be greater than in other seasons due to the presence of kelp in the nesting areas reported David Viana, head of Environment and Ecology of Cozumel. This situation, explained experienced Biologist Rafael Chacón Diaz, could be solved by patrolling in the nesting areas where algae accumulates more frequently.

A tour of the Eastern area where loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) and green or white (Chelonia mydas) spawn was taken due to the fact that users of social networks reported information relating to the death of small turtles. Viana explained that when the turtles hatch and leave the nest, they can reach the sea, but many are returning to the sand due to the kelp that drags them back while they float. He said that each nest bears a mark of its location and the type species.

Viana was unable to give figures for the percentage of mortality that is expected this season, as he said that it is impossible to calculate.
Ecotourism Promotions Begin for Cozumel
"Live It to Believe It" is the name of the tourism promotion campaign funded by the Tourism Board of Mexico (CPTM) for Quintana Roo destinations which includes the island of Cozumel. Executives of the advertising agency "Leo Burnett" were in the area capturing images to be included in the promotional airing in the United States through television and social networks.

Last week, the eco-touristic parks of Cozumel Chankanaab and Punta Sur, were visited by Carlos Enrique Murad, creative director of "Lapiz," Leo Burnett, and by María Elisa Vélez, Global Director of Burnett. Purpose of the visits were to obtain images of the natural and tourist attractions, history, beaches and culture of Cozumel without forgetting the work of conservation and environmental education. Carlos Murad was impressed with Punta Sur, because for him, this area condenses the variety of coastal ecosystems, the beauty of the beaches, and reflects the work of conservation and restoration of the ecosystem.

In November 2014, Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas, head of the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) of Mexico, and the Governor of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge Angulo, led the presentation of the second phase of the campaign "Live It to Believe It" at the Museum of Natural history in London, within the framework of the World Travel Market which is carried out every year and attended by representatives of the world tourism industry.
30 Years of Monitoring Reefs in the Caribbean
During the past 30 years there have been over 35,000 investigations on the reefs of the Caribbean, since they form part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef system (SAM) and the Center for marine biodiversity and conservation and Scripps Oceanography Institute developed a summary of this information.

The Global Network of Monitoring of Coral Reefs (GCRMN) reported that these investigations have been taken into account as a reference to identify the challenges facing the corals of our area. The importance of reviewing what has been the evolution of the threats in the area since 9% of the world's coral reefs are concentrated in the Caribbean and at the same time they make up one of the ecosystems with greatest diversity on the planet.

The investigations have been distributed in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, covering the area of Quintana Roo in the latter. The information has been collecting data from coral species that exist and the fish that live up to the main problems facing this marine ecosystem. The main factor with the destinations in the Caribbean, is the little planned development and involvement such as pollution from sewage or waste, in addition to the presence of invasive species.

They are about 90 institutions which have worked in different places, in addition to monitor reefs for more than 30 years. The latest published reports show improvements in Quintana Roo in locations such as Banco Chinchorro and Puerto Morelos where there has been favorable recovery of corals important fish such as parrotfish.
Incorect Translation On New Signs
One of the six signs placed weeks ago in the main square was withdrawn due to errors of translation into English, which due to its location was one of the most visible since it sits exactly at the main Avenida Rafael E. Melgar with First Street.

Last week a user of social networks criticized the incorrect translation of the signs, which had gone unnoticed. After that, the signs with the errors were been removed. The signage is part of the global project of recovery of the image of the city, informed staff of the Directorate of Public Works, which also said that the error will be corrected and the signs returned to their location.
Cozumel's Mayor Signs Agreement to Study Coastal Pollution
With the intention of conducting studies that will help to take advantage of the coastal natural resources, its dynamics, the contamination of the aquifers and the sea, as well as the protection of the reef, an agreement was signed between the city of Cozumel and the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) in Merida.

The signatories of the agreement, which took place in the Town Hall, were for Cinvestav, Ismael Jesús Mariño Tapia, Senior Researcher of Resources of the Sea; and the City Council, the Mayor, Fredy Efrén Marrufo Martín.The specialist explained that this agreement is to conduct studies that help benefit the coast of Municipal and State Governments, such as coastal dynamic, in addition to knowledge about beaches, aspects of pollution of the sea and the protection of the reefs.

In terms of the level of contamination, product of humans, which may occur in the bodies of water and cenotes that are in Cozumel, it was said that this is part of the study but stressed that the aquifers of fresh water can be contaminated not only by human presence, but by salt water, because “water flows in both directions".

After the signing of the agreement the next step is to get resources state, federal and even international to finance studies. In Cozumel there are five protected natural areas and that in the field of maritime zones, 90% of the coastlines fit under this condition.
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May 5, 2015 (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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