Cozumel is famous for its spectacular reefs and due to their intensive use and ecological importance and fragility, most of the reefs surrounding the island and lagoons on its south side were declared as the “Arrecifes de Cozumel” National Park in 1996.
One of the greatest threats to this world-renowned dive destination is tourism itself. With an average of 1,500 visitors a day we all must do our part to keep the reefs healthy. There are many things you can do as a responsible diver to promote sustainable use of the reefs.
Choose dive operations that contribute to reef conservation by giving thorough orientations and use clean motors on their boats. Avoid all contact with corals and other marine life, never feed fish, make sure all gear is secured close to your body, avoid swimming through reef caves, avoid stirring sand and never stand, rest or hold on to corals. View all wildlife from a distance. Don’t use gloves or knives and use only biodegradable non-oily sun block. Make sure all your dive buddies understand and comply with reef friendly practices. Congratulate your dive guide for enforcing good practices. Refuse to buy souvenirs made from coral or other marine life. Eat at restaurants that keep reef sensitive species off their menus.
Mexican law establishes a $36 pesos user fee for all marine protected areas. Request your proof of payment to ensure your money goes where it is supposed. Deep down we must conserve.