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Authorities say illegal fishing done in protected areas

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Concerns are rising for the poaching of pink snail around the state as government officials saying most of the illegal fishing is happening in the state’s natural protected areas.

Fishing for pink snail is prohibited from May until November, however, that has not stopped many from illegally fishing not only outside the allowed months, but also in protected waters. Cristopher González Baca, regional director of the National Commission of Protected Areas says that the success of illegal fishing of the pink snail is due to a lack of awareness, explaining that people need to be aware and not consume or buy pink snails.

According to González Baca, the fishing of this marine specimen occurs mainly in the state’s Natural Protected Areas and continues, despite having closed fishing for the snail since May.

“Unfortunately we have poaching not only in Puerto Morelos, but in other places where work is definitely needed from the authorities at all levels. It is important that people know when it is closed to avoid these products,” said the official.

Although there are committees for environmental crimes that work together with the National Fisheries Commission, there is still a lack of presence at all levels.

“An understanding is missing at all levels. I bet a lot on the consumer. If there is no consumption, there is no sale. Restaurants need to know,” said González Baca.

Miguel Angel Nadal Novelo, director of the Attorney General’s Office of the state said he has explained to the fishermen how illegally fishing during banned months affects them financially.

“It was working for many years, making the fishermen understand that not only is there a legal consequence when they are found with illegal protected species, but also having over-fished these species has created affects on local economies,” he explained.