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Belize boat anchored in Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park not fined

Cozumel, Q.R. — A boat that was reported anchored in the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park has been let go without being fined. The large boat, which was videoed anchored in National Park waters Saturday, was let go since officials did not find any coral damage.

The Regional Director of the National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (Conanp) Fernando Orozco Ojeda, confirmed that officials did look for damage and that the Belize boat was allowed to leave without being fined.

The federal official said that the agency did not find out about the anchored boat until Sunday morning, which is when they sent inspectors. Officers from the Secretariat of the Navy also arrived to verify the situation.

The inspectors confirmed that the boat was anchored in the Paraíso Reef, a prohibited action, but on a sandy area, so there was no damage. Without sanctioning the vessel, Conanp told the owner to leave, something that did not happen until late in the afternoon since they had a pending procedure with customs.

“The boat came from Belize. They were foreigners and the owner admitted that he did not consult his nautical chart,” said Orozco Ojeda.

He said that ideally, it is appropriate that boats from abroad dock in Cozumel and from there, rent the services of a local boat that has park access authorization.

He added that there are currently two unresolved files before the Attorney General’s Office regarding boat owners who have ignored the National Park rules.