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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of March 2, 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.

We appreciate hearing from our readers and welcome your questions, suggestions and comments. Please send them to:

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: 36 Ships this Week
3/01 - Numbers remain very high this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals reach 36 ships registered to dock for the first week of March 2015. This is 8 more than the number of ships last week and 16 more than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season." With High Season now upon us, an estimated 108,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 8.6 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." However it seems this year, Cozumel is enjoying a much welcome early beginning to high season!

This week TMM/SSA International pier will be a big economic winner as 13 ships dock there, 10 will dock at Puerta Maya pier while Punta Langosta pier will also see 13 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- ship arrivals.

This week begins with 6 ships docking on Monday, 7 on Tuesday, 7 ships Wednesday, 6 on Thursday, 5 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 5 ships in port and Sunday will see -0- ships in port.
Cozumel: Zero Forest Fires in Past Six Years
Cozumel Island is the only municipality in the state of Quintana Roo which has not registered forest fires in the past six years. "This reflects the work of prevention and citizen cooperation" stated Luis Carlos Rodríguez Hoy, State Coordinator of Civil protection in Quintana Roo. "You (Cozumel) are the only municipality that has not reported fires in six years and there is no other location in Quintana Roo that can say the same." The official said that statistics show that 95% of forest fires are due to human neglect. These fires are one of the main causes of deforestation, degradation and loss of ecosystems.

Meanwhile Lucio Alejandro Canul Andrade, head of civil protection in the municipality of Cozumel, unveiled that from March to May are the months with the greatest risk. Cozumel’s Municipal President, Fredy Marrufo Martín stressed the fact that "the participation of the population to prevent forest fires is fundamental" along with the valued support from the armed forces.
Tourist Maps to Assist Visitors in Cozumel
The management of urban development will install maps containing the location of places of interest of both the urban areas as well as the complete island. City Director in this area, Melissa Angulo Gámez stated that, "In reference to the placement of 27 maps across the island, we know it will provide information to both nationals and foreigners with the intention that they can access sufficient data that allow them to visit different sites of the city”.

Angulo Gamez explained that there are two types of maps and in some places both will be placed; 13 are of the center of the city and 14 of the whole of the island. The maps are made of a material resistant to weather conditions that are prevalent in Cozumel. She added that with the efforts of the Municipal Government and a private company, they were able to acquire the signs that will be useful and beneficial to the community. Visitors will now know the location of the archaeological sites, beaches, shopping centers, and crafts among other attractions.
The installation of signs responds to requests made by the tourist, commercial sector, tourist services, restaurateurs etc… who have the need for information within the city and surrounding points of interest.

Among the places where the maps will be located is the entrance of the Park Eco Resort Punta Sur, El Cedral, Puerta Maya, Royal Village, City Hall, the public beach Mezcalitos, Municipal market, Main Downtown Pier, Punta Langosta, El Museo de la Isla, International Airport and the Esplanade of the flag.
Ban on Lobster Fishing Affects the Economy
Only a few days into initiating the ban of lobster, fishermen in the northern part of the state are concerned. The situation is worsening and the ban will last until the month of July, meanwhile the production falls significantly. The fisheries sector has been affected since the end of last year and is going to get worse with the bans that are entering into force. Last December initiated the closure of Octopus which will be maintained until the month of July.

So far the fishing remains well below expectations; climate systems have failed to work one hundred per cent. Even when rains are not recorded, high winds create waves that do not allow fishermen to go out to sea.

It is inevitable that several of the fishermen are seeking alternate jobs to carry their families through. Some also engage in tourism activities each year during the holidays.
Cozumel's Stray Dog Population Increases
The presence of stray dogs on the streets of Cozumel is creating various problems such as attacking citizens and creating accidents. The direction of ecology will now take actions to somewhat mitigate this problem.

Official data reveals that in Cozumel, a figure of more than 10,000 or 15,000 stray dogs could exist in the colonies, unfortunately a high percentage have no owner or owners who don't care about their animals. So it is urged that people who have pets to assess them and give them the proper care and treatment they deserve. "So many dogs that we find on the streets which are not claimed have to be put to sleep and this represents a cost to the municipality, but we will try to avoid the practice of euthanizing dogs", emphasized the Director of Ecology David Viana Garcia.

He also stressed that a pet adoption program will strengthen actions to counteract this problem. "We will seek resources to have more time to the dogs at the animal control center to help find an owner and if necessary we will ask for the support of private initiative to house the animals for a longer period of time."
Possible Slaughter of Crocodiles at Passion Island
After the discovery of an alligator in advanced stage of decomposition in an area close to Passion Island, the environmental group sky, land and sea (CITYMAR) require relevant authorities to perform more monitoring in this place as there could be people engaged in the hunting of this species in danger of extinction.

The President of this group, Guadalupe Álvarez Chulim said that it is unfortunate that there are people that are ending this endemic island species, since this is not the only case that has been recorded. It is now necessary to call on the authorities to monitor the various natural areas from Cozumel to prevent more deaths of this animal and in case of detecting those responsible, punish us and even arrest them for these unfortunate acts. "We cannot continue watching as every day endemic species of the island are running out, we must act according to the law to punish those responsible," said the official.

On the other hand, it is known that areas near Passion Island are highly contaminated, since people come to this place daily and throw their trash wherever they want without anyone in authority to keep an eye on them. Therefore it is urgent that authorities find a solution to monitor the area.
"Earth Hour" Event Approaches
Earth hour is one of the most important events around the world in adherence to an environmental cause. The “Natura Environment” environmental blog, details that earth hour started in Sydney, Australia in 2007. That year, from 19:30 until 20:30, a number of citizens, 2.2 million, voluntarily turned off their lights creating a saving of between 2.1% 10.2% of electric power.

Last year, the event managed to reach more than 7,000 cities, 163 countries and territories, to join the global mobilization. By turning off the lights, this will generate fewer greenhouse gases. (The main cause of climate change). Organizers and environmentalists hope that participating in this event on March 28, 2015, at 20:30 hours, society will reflect on the task of caring for planet Earth.

Half of the world's population lives in cities which generate more than 70% of emissions of carbon dioxide to the planet. In the case of Latin America, more than 60% of people live in cities and by 2030, more than 80% will do so. Internationally, the worldwide Fund for nature (WWF), this year organized the so-called challenge of cities of the earth hour (Earth Hour City Challenge around the world), in close collaboration with Governments, to celebrate to the cities that are becoming more green, clean, and sustainable places to live.

The goal of WWF is motivate and recognize the efforts of the city’s leading the development low in carbon. The challenge is an annual competition between cities. The winners are recognized for their innovative plans for the decrease of adaptation to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.
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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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