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Cancn, Quintana Roo August 30th 2013.

Preventing a Disaster Mexican NGO Chooj Ajauil AC , (Reino Azul in Mayan) (Blue Realm in english), is proposing actions to avoid a possible disaster: On the Whale shark aggregation area, high vessel traffic involving even Oil tankers and touristic Cruisers, jeopardize the whole marine Ecosystem, where Manta rays, 5 dolphin species, Sailfish, and Sea turtles among other pelagic plus the tourist visitors. We documented recently the presence of cargo ships:

Our collaborator Mike Mauntler, obtained this image,on July 20th 2013, in the observation of whale sharks and swimming zone, at 15 nautical miles North-East off Isla Mujeres, aproximately 6 miles off East Isla Contoy, Quintana Roo. Seaboard Ocean, a cargo ship from the USA cargo line Seaboard, from Houston, Texas on route (SON52) to Santo Toms de Castilla, Guatemala.

Days later on August 23rd 2013 we photographed and video documented Seaboard Caribe, from the same company, on route (SCA187) from New Orleans, Louisiana to Santo Toms de Castilla, Guatemala; which should navigate behind Isla de Cozumel:

This huge vessel was clearly in collision route toward us, it deviated slightly off, a couple miles before, but even so, they cruised in between boats! Very significant implications for the whole marine Ecosystem are in the zone: considering that during winter Sailfish aggregations attract sport fishing fleets and snorkelers too; later in the spring, large dolphin schools along with false killer whales and other pelagic sea life arrive; in the summertime, sea turtles get close to reproduce and also Manta rays and later Whale sharks to feed. The relevance of the area for commercial and sport fishing implies the presence of many small boats and yacht. Tourist activities related to the Manta ray, Whale shark and sport fishing, since at least 10 years ago, have involved the regulation of different secretariats and offices: Harbor Master through Transport and Communications (SCT), Tourism, Environmental agencies (Semarnat and Conanp), Fisheries (Sagarpa), among others.

Thousands of tourists per season come to visit the area, with an economic spill over 13.5 million US dollars, which benefit operators and stakeholders from Isla Holbox, Chiquil, Isla Mujeres, Cancn, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, thus we are obliged to consider this opportunity to prevent a disaster, before it happens. Among Chooj Ajauil AC activities in collaboration with Amigos de Isla Contoy AC, Parque Nacional Isla Contoy, Reserva de la Biosfera Tiburn Ballena, The Georgia Aquarium, on behalf: 1.- Deployment of an AIS ( Automatic Identification System) allowing us to track every ship cruising in the zone, the antenna was set last July 17th 2013 on top of the observation tower in Isla Contoy, and it is on test period. 2.- Written notice to the vessel companies using the area, to request for a 10 mile deviation off East Isla Contoy, (ideally 12 miles), since sometimes they navigate among 5 miles. 3.-Gather collaborative efforts from National and International Organisations, to participate on the Ecosystem preservation and its visitors protection. Truly Bil. Rafael de la Parra Venegas Executive Director Chooj Ajauil AC (998) 8848162 9981 834242