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Fishermen Say, Thousands of Lobsters Lost in Cozumel Due to Sargassum

The invasion of sargassum in lobster traps has caused the death of over half a ton of product in the first weekend of lobster season.

An estimated 500 kg of product was lost in the first weekend alone. This correlates to a loss of 200 thousand pesos to Cozumel fishermen. The commercial fishing sector is seeking support from authorities.

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José Ángel Canto Noh, President of the Sociedad Productiva Pesquera Cozumel, lamented that while many people are worried about the affect of sargassum on the tourist sector, no one seems concerned about the fishermen.

He elaborated that in past seasons, they had noticed a short reprieve in the arrival of the sargassum. But now, every year the amount is increasing.

“The affected area used to be 10 – 15 meters from the shoreline. Now we are seeing mats of 100-200 meters of coverage from the beach, stretching to where some of the lobster traps are found. This mat of algea leaves the lobsters without oxygen, causing them to die and generating significant economic loss.”

He explained that at this, the start of the capture season, an estimated 500 kilograms worth of lobster died in the first weekend alone. This represents a loss of 200 thousand pesos.

Nobody takes us into account. I don’t see people raising their voices to support us as they do for other areas of the tourist sector.

sargassum-cozumel

Of the 50 members of the cooperative to which Canto Noh belongs, 50 percent are the families and helpers working in the Santa Elena Espiritu Santo community. This is where 80 percent of the productivity is generated. In total, there are over 2000 people who depend directly on the fishing sector on the island of Cozumel.

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He added that he hopes the authorities will make a plan to combat the sargassum soon as in years past it has even made the fishermen ill.

Source: Por Esto