Published On: Wed, Mar 26th, 2014

Starfish population Dropping in Cozumel Due To Irresponsable Tourist Activity

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The amount of times that the starfish are taken out of the water, by bathers to take pictures with them in a beach of Cozumel called “El Cielo” is the main reason that this species has decreased its population by 20% in the last five years, according to Cristopher González Baca a representative of the “Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas” (National Commission For Natural Protected Areas) in Cozumel.

The expert, explained that a starfish is touched and taken out of the water by tourists an average of 50 times every day, which in consequence affects the growth and reproduction ability of this echinoderm.

You see, this species captures the oxygen of the water and feeds through its skin, when taken out of the water for prolonged amounts of time, the echinoderm fails to do this process and may cause its death” stated Cristopher Gonzalez.

Tourist irresponsibly grabbing a starfish

Tourist irresponsibly grabbing a starfish

 

This situation is particularly more frequent in a beach known to locals and tourists alike by the name of “El Cielo” (Heaven), due to the great amount of starfish that live there, reaching up to 15 starfish per square meter.

El Cielo Beach is located in the southern part of the island and is part of the “National Park (Parque Nacional Arrecifes of Cozumel).

Source: sipse.com

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