Two dead dolphins and a turtle that had to be rehabilitated to be returned to the water were the most important events that were registered by the local ecological agencies in the port of Progreso, however, strict vigilance persists in the entire coastal area because it is expected that several sea turtles will come ashore during February.
Specialists emphasize that there are no one hundred percent certain forecasts, but that the visits of turtles in particular tend to happen in the most unexpected, irregular, and inopportune ways. As an example, they cite the stranding activity in the last two years, because in 2021 the first stranding occurred on January 11, a year later, no sightings were recorded until the first week of March.
In an interview with marine biologist Juan Lara Rodríguez, who used to be in charge of the Program of Attention and Rehabilitation of Sea Turtles of the Yucatán Coast (Partmacy), it was made known that the sightings on the beach by different types of chelonians the first quarter of the year, may be due to the low temperatures that hover on the coast due to the Cold Fronts.
“It might seem usual to see the species on the coast, this because of the prominent winds we have in the peninsula, the low temperatures of those cold fronts make the turtles susceptible to reach the shore of the beach” specified Lara Rodriguez.
The biologist also affirms that if a stranding occurs, it is because the chelonians need help: “The turtles may be sick or have been hit by a boat, so we ask vacationers and citizens that if they see a turtle, please call the Progreso ecological authorities at once” he added.
An example of this is related to the case of the dolphin that last week washed up alive on the beach attached to the traditional boardwalk, since the ecological agents instead of returning this specimen to the sea as requested by the tourists present, decided to wait for the Picmmy team to carry out an analysis and grant the corresponding rehabilitation.
The most common causes of the recales to the coast of the port, according to the external specialist, can be digestive problems, fibropapillomatosis, shell lesions, the nesting itself and even in some cases, such as the green turtle, they come close because of their feeding habits.
Out of nesting period
During the last two years, fibropapillomatosis has been the number one reason why turtles have arrived at the port outside of their nesting period, which runs from April to mid-October. This is a neoplastic disease that affects sea turtles in tropical waters; they are tumors that cause the turtles to remain weak and fatigued.
It is also requested to respect a lifeless marine animal that can be seen on its way through the beaches of the municipality because there are also snails and other scavenger species that need the carcass for their food. It is worth mentioning that the protocol of the ecological police dictates that in case of finding a marine animal without vital signs, it is buried at the point of discovery.
Regarding the signs of mistreatment that have been visible in several cases in previous years, it is requested as always not to carry out these improper acts with amphibians, although unfortunately there are always situations of abuse by yachtsmen, however these actions are punished with fines.
The Federal Penal Code establishes a penalty of one to nine years in prison and the equivalent of three hundred to three thousand days of minimum wage as a fine for anyone who captures, damages or deprives marine life; the punishment is also applicable to anyone who collects or stores their products.