In 2016 Akumal's Ecological Center announced the creation of a marine refuge for protected species, with the declared intention of protecting three species of sea turtles, four species of corals, three species of mangroves and three species of seagrass.
After only one year from the announcement the situation has gone wild, and it looks like commercial interests are prevailing over the protection of this delicate area. Let's be honest: nobody wants to loose the golden business of the "swimming with turtles" tours, the rental of life jackets and all the related activities, even if this means that maybe, in the future, there won't be any turtles to swim with.
As Akumal Bay Info reports, after a suspension of the "swimming with turtles" activities at the beginning of 2017 and for only 51 days, SEMARNAT reissued permits to commercial operators. Tour operators are supposed to follow certain rules, but are often ignoring them.
These rules inludes:
- Snorkel activities can only be carried out between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- No more than 6 people/group plus a guide.
- The minimum distance between groups is 10 meters.