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Pair detained for free diving in protected Akumal waters

Akumal, Q.R. — Two  people and their fishing gear have been seized by state authorities. On Wednesday, the Secretaría de Marina located the two illegal free divers in Akumal waters.

Personnel from the Mexican Navy, together with inspectors from the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (Conapesca) and the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp), detained two men and seized fishing gear and catch.

They were detained after they were found dive fishing within the Akumal Fishing Refuge in Riviera Maya.

Through a press release, the Secretary of the Navy announced that naval personnel belonging to the Ninth Naval Region and the Fifteenth Naval Zone, in coordination with fisheries inspectors belonging to the National Aquaculture and Fisheries Commission (Conapesca) and the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp), carried out the precautionary retention of lobster, scale products, snorkeling equipment and fishing gear.

The men were located Wednesday while naval personnel and federal fisheries inspectors were carrying out maritime inspection and surveillance tours in the vicinity of Puerto Aventuras and Playa del Carmen.

During these tours, they found two male people who were practicing apnea diving (free diving) in the middle of a protected area called Akumal Fishing Refuge.

At the time of inspection, elements found 15 specimens of lobster and approximately six kilograms of scale product, specifically three chac-chí, a boquinete, a horse mackerel and a snapper.

They also found two pairs of fins, two scopes with tubes, three steel rods and a hook.

Given the forcefulness of the infraction, naval personnel and federal authorities participating in the operation proceeded with the precautionary retention of the marine product and fishing equipment. The two people were transferred to Puerto Aventuras for the corresponding procedures before Conapesca.

It is the fourth time in the past several weeks that state fisheries have located illegal fishing activities along the coast of Quintana Roo. Last week, a vessel from Progreso, Yucatan was found illegally fishing off the island of Cozumel. On board, inspectors found three tons of shark meat.