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Islanders protest approval of fourth dock for Cozumel

Cozumel, Q.R. — Dozens of people took to the seaside dock area of Cozumel Monday in protest of the approval of a fourth cruise ship dock.

Protesters said the newly approved dock, they said, is approved to be built between two protected natural areas of the island.

Adrián Villegas Jiménez, a member of the Mesoamerican Reef System Leadership Network, warned that Cozumel does not have the capacity, nor the road infrastructure necessary to increase the number of cruise ships, which is currently seven at the same time.

“This dock is not needed and the strongest argument is because there are already seven berths for state-of-the-art cruise ships. With this project, coupled with the fact that Semarnat authorized the expansion of the international pier, Cozumel will be able to have 10 cruise ships at the same time,” he said.

“By building the pier, the connectivity between the protected natural areas will be destroyed. In addition, this space is used by tourism service providers, an activity that many families rely on, he said.

Earlier this month, the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) approved the construction of the fourth cruise ship dock. The government gave the green light to company Muelles del Caribe, who will build the Muelle Cozumel Cruise Terminal despite ongoing expert environmental opposition from locals.