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Pair caught on video poaching conch inside Cozumel Reefs National Park

Cozumel, Q.R. — Two men were captured on video illegally fishing inside the Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel. The pair were videoed diving for queen conch snails late last week inside the Cozumel Reefs National Park.

A drone captured more than a minute of the two men illegally fishing for the snail in the Chuchacab reef area. The video was captured June 30 by a Cozumel resident who asked to remain anonymous. They said this was not the first time they witnessed it, but this time, they had equipment to record the illegal poaching.

Civil association Citymar Cozumel has since requested that the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas, Conanp, look into the ongoing problem of poaching, since it is them who must file the legal complaint.

The video shows one of the fisherman staying in the boat while the second snorkels for the queen conch. It doesn’t take long for the snorkeling diver to locate at least one, which he hands over to the man in the boat.

Islanders say illegal poaching still exists, which affects Cozumel’s ecosystem. The meat is sold to restaurants and the shells to local craft shops for tourist sales. Fishing for queen conch is off limits from the months of May to November.