MEXICO CITY (AP) — With tourism shattered by the pandemic, critics insist but one other cruise ship dock is the remaining thing that Mexico’s Caribbean island of Cozumel wants.
Cozumel already has three such docks, and prior to the pandemic it ranked because the arena’s busiest port of name for cruise ships.
But since remaining June, no longer a single cruise ship has disembarked passengers there.
Residents acknowledged Thursday that makes it the total extra inexplicable that but one other dock is planned for an plot of sea flooring that’s home to a coral reef restoration project. But the project has the backing of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Environmental groups additionally are objecting.
“The unusual proposal to earn the fourth cruise ship dock on Cozumel will smash the finest project to regenerate coral” on the island, the International Coral Reef Alliance acknowledged in an announcement.
The company behind the roughly $25 million project says the cruise industry is anticipated to grow and it already brings in $480 million per year for Mexico.
The positioning for the unusual dock turned into as soon as chosen “in remark no longer to delight in an impress on coral reefs,” the proposal says. “This turned into as soon as backed up by arena work on the sea flooring, which no presence of coral reef structures.”
Activists insist there could be coral there. Whereas they acknowledge the plot’s reefs had been ravaged by years of human exercise and hurricanes, they insist there delight in years of efforts by volunteer divers to transplant diminutive chunks of living coral anchored to seabed structures to grow unusual reefs. Hundreds of corals had been transplanted to date.
The teach is a elaborate one. Tourism accounts for 87% of economic exercise in the sing of Quintana Roo, the attach Cozumel is. The sing misplaced tens of hundreds of tourism jobs due to the pandemic, and easiest some delight in attain serve to date.
But according to a Alternate.org petition that has gained over 38,000 signatures to date, “There are satisfactory docking positions for the total alternative of cruise ships that arrived in Cozumel prior to the pandemic, and this quantity is no longer going to increase but, on the contrary, it’s going to decrease as soon as the pandemic is coming to an stop.”