Environmental agency vows to punish those responsible for ship stranded at coral reef
The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) called on the company owner of the “Palo de Tinte” boat, to carry out the salvage of the vessel which is stranded right on top of the coral reef at the “Arrecife Alacranes” National Park and Protected Natural Area (PNA).
After the incident occurred on April 16, Profepa officials in the state of Yucatan determined that the ship ran aground on the site known as “El Sandwich”, northeast of Isla Perez.
In a statement, Profepa said that the stranding, detected and reported by the agency and the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), resulted in an inspection where it was found that the vessel “Palo de Tinte” is perched directly on the crest of the reef structure.
This area located northeast of Isla Perez is a rock formation featuring species of hydrocorals (fire coral), Millepora species of gorgonian corals and complanata (soft corals).
In this situation the precautionary seizure of the vessel ended under administrative deposit of the company that owns it.
The company argued that the administrative procedure agreement is to carry out the urgent measures necessary, based on Article 117 paragraph IV of the General Wildlife Act, including the bailing plan for the complete withdrawal of the vessel from the stranding site.
Profepa stated that the penalty for damaging coral reefs, according to the General Wildlife Law, can go from 50 to 50,000 times measurement units.
The Federal Criminal Code states that the effects on biodiversity constitute a serious crime when a Natural Protected Area is affected. The “Arrecife Alacranes” National Park concentrates the Gulf of Mexico’s largest coral structure.
In that sense, the incident could result in a sentence of 2 to 10 years in prison, and the equivalent of 300 to 3,000 measurement units, with the addition of two years in prison and up to one thousand units, because it is a Natural Protected Area.