“Exclusive: Nautical Group Pushes for Tougher Registration Rules in Quintana Roo!”

The Nautical Associates of Quintana Roo (ANQR) recently held a meeting with the state's Secretary of Tourism, Bernardo Cueto Riestra. The focus of their discussion was the potential inclusion of Harbor Master permits in the registration requirements for the Retur-Q platform, specifically for nautical service providers.

Francisco Fernandez Millan, the president of ANQR, expressed that these additional requirements would not only strengthen the registration process on the platform, but also aid in the fight against unauthorized vessels, often referred to as "pirate" vessels. He stated, "Retur-Q is for census purposes, and that is also helping us. We identified a gap in the program where certain nautical requirements, such as the Harbor Master permits, are not requested. These permits ensure that the vessels are not operating illegally."

The Secretary of Tourism revealed that promotional efforts to encourage companies to join Retur-Q are being resumed. There will be a period for voluntary adherence, but companies that fail to comply could face fines. In addition, ongoing discussions with the Harbor Master aim to enforce insurance requirements for independent private vessels, similar to those required for ANQR vessels.

The meeting also included Gisela Maldonado Saldaña, Vice President of the Caribbean Turtle Group. She discussed the increasing sea turtle population and the need for nautical service providers to exercise caution to prevent accidents and harm to these animals. In response, the ANQR is working on creating a badge for companies and vessels that commit to reducing their speed in areas frequently inhabited by sea turtles.

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The meeting also touched on environmental protection and species preservation. Investments are being made to create artificial habitats in the El Meco Reef area and the National Park of the Western Coast of Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun, and Punta Nizuc. In addition to the modules already installed, further investment is planned for July in the bay area of Isla Mujeres.

Fernandez Millan concluded the meeting by emphasizing the ongoing need for more public ramps to remove vessels from the water in case of emergencies. He highlighted the need for ramps outside the hotel zone to prevent obstruction of Kukulcan Boulevard during these operations.