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Port captain says Costa Maya poachers better equipped than navy

Costa Maya, Q.R. — Boats being used for illegal poaching are frequently seen in Coasta Maya waters, says the Mahahual port captain who adds that the illegal fishermen have better equipment than the navy.

Marcelo Senega Herrera, Port Captain in Mahahual, acknowledges that they are at a disadvantage against poachers in Costa Maya, explaining that they lack operational capacity because those who illegally fish have better boats and engines than the maritime authorities.

He stressed that it is common for poachers to use modern outboard motors that allow them to achieve high speeds, in addition to knowing the waters very well, they are able to move quickly, often avoiding arrest.

He says in spite of everything, so far this year, they have managed to confiscate six vessels without registration and name, in the coastal communities of Mahahual, Xcalak and Banco Chinchorro.

Marcelo Senega insisted that the problem of poaching is prevalent, despite the actions implemented by the Secretary of the Navy because illegal fishermen have better equipment.

“We need larger vessels to combat this problem. There is a lot of poachers, but it is difficult (to catch them) because they have done it for years, they know the area well and have better boats and engines,” he said.

He also established that one point against being able to stop them is that the law indicates that there must be flagrancy.

In this regard, he reflected on the fact that there have been cases where they persecute poaching fishermen for almost two hours, but they throw the product into the sea and avoid being arrested. He added that despite those inconveniences, water operations will be maintained to prevent illegal fishing and drug trafficking by sea.