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Mayor says excessive boats cause of environmental damage to Bacalar lagoon

Bacalar, Q.R. — Bacalar mayor José Alfredo Contreras Méndez says authorities need to crack down on the amount of permits being given to boats to operate on the Bacalar lagoon.

He says over the last six years, boats have flooded the lagoon which is increasing pollution from motors. He says that between 2013 and 2016, there were 55 boats with permits for the lagoon. Now, he says there are more than 300.

Contreras Méndez says authorities from the Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico (Semar) and the Port Authority need to put a brake on the issuance of permits for the circulation of boats and pontoons.

He commented that the boats offering tourist services are polluting the water with oils and additives that affect the environment, including the flora and fauna characteristic of this type of ecosystem.

He argued that the number of boats on the lagoon is higher than the number of taxis that circulate in the community of Bacalar, giving one a greater idea of the contamination that is being generated.

He also pointed out that there are a great number of boats on the lagoon circulating illegally, without any permits. He says most of those are privately owned by vacation home owners who arrive during holiday seasons and use their private vessels without permits.

Contreras Méndez is calling for a halt to the amount of boats on the lagoon to curb this degree of marine pollution, which, for several years, he says has become out of control.

In January, three boating incidences involving passengers was reported on the lagoon. During the first three weeks of January, three boats were videoed sinking, two of which were due to being over capacity.