71.6 F
Mérida
Monday, January 24, 2022
###

Victory at Arrecife Alacranes: Reef excluded from oil auction

Latest headlines

A stunning 5,425 new COVID cases in a week

Residents make use of a hand-washing station installed in the Centro. Photo: Artur Widak / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Booster shots arrive for Mérida residents between 40-59

Booster shots for Mérida residents in their 40s and 50s arrived Friday. Photo: Courtesy A military plane with...

Mexico celebrates International Mariachi Day

Mariachis in Mexico and around the world celebrate International Mariachi Day observed every Jan 21. 

Marines to take over security at Mérida and Cancún airports

Mexico's Marines will be taking control of seven airports across the country, with  Mérida and Cancún among them. 
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.

Scorpion Reef is a protected reserve, but is thought to be near vast oil reserves. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


Much to the relief of environmentalists and fishermen, a bid that had opened the possibility of oil exploration off Progreso has been modified to exclude the Yucatán Platform.

The National Hydrocarbons Commission unanimously agreed to exclude a site near the Arrecife Alacranes, a fragile reef 188 kilometers off the coast, from an auction inviting private companies to explore the Gulf for oil.

This is a victory for fishing villages along the Yucatecan coast, where leaders had vowed a fight. Industrializing the Gulf of Mexico would further reduce fishing stock, which thousands of families depend on for income, they said.

It is also good news for Arrecife Alacranes, known in English as Scorpion Reef, which is a fragile ecosystem that happens to be a few kilometers from the oil-rich Yucatán Platform.

An oil exploration drilling rig sits in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Getty


The Secretary of Energy had requested the move in a letter dated Sept. 27. The bid is part of a large auction in January, offering access to 30 oil fields across the Gulf of Mexico.

For decades, protecting the reef has been a battle because experts are sure that the area is rich in oil.

Pemex had once planned 15 exploratory wells at Los Alacranes, whose coral reef has been designated a national park and is part of the United Nations Biosphere Reserve.

Yucatán’s oil reserves are tied to the Chicxulub crater, which is thought to have helped the formation of fossils off the peninsula.

Yucatán Expat Life treatment of a Diario de Yucatán graphic

The reef surrounds a group of five small coraline islands, four of which are uninhabited. Only Isla Perez has people: a lighthouse keeper, a small Mexican Navy platoon and scientists and fishermen who come and go.

Presidents of the nautical committees of Progreso, Chelem, Chicxulub and Chuburná Puerto, Dzilam de Bravo, Yobaín, Chabihau, Telchac Puerto, San Crisanto, San Felipe, El Cuyo, Sisal, Celestún, Las Coloradas and San Felipe, had put pressure on the state government to intervene.

José Luis Carrillo Galaz, President of the Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives of the Center and Poniente del Estado, hailed the decision.

And the leader of the “Salvemos Alacranes” movement, Felipe de Jesús Pech González, rejoiced.

“The battle is won, because the main thing was to protect the reef,” he said. “It was like a battle of David against Goliath.”

With information from Diario de Yucatán, Desde el Balcón

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

New Frontier Airlines route to connect Cancún with Houston

Citing an increase in demand, Frontier Airlines has announced a new flight between Houston and Cancún.

Yucatán’s muralism boom —  an explosion of color, tradition and meaning

Yucatán’s history of muralism famously dates all the way back to the elaborate frescoes of the ancient Maya.

Students at Mérida’s private Catholic Universities caught trading thousands of explicit photos of their classmates

Numerous students at Mérida’s Anáuac Mayab University are reportedly active in a “secret” chat group to trade intimate photos of classmates, as well as engage in cyberbullying. 

New benches at ancient archaeological site anger Izamal residents

Modern slab benches detract from an ancient ruin at Izamal, neighbors say. Photo: Courtesy Modern-looking benches installed at...

Being a good neighbor to Yucatán’s roof cats and street dogs

Illustration: Juan Pablo Quintal García Cats replaced people as my friends soon after quarantine 2020 began. 

What my rescue dogs taught me

I thought I knew a lot about dogs until I took in two rescues. I was wrong....

Bus full of construction workers catches fire in Mérida’s north

A bus went up in flames just before 8 this morning in Mérida’s Francisco de Montejo neighborhood.

Mérida’s new surveillance center now has eyes on over 6,700 cameras

Yucatán's government has opened a new remote surveillance center to oversee the state's thousands of active security cameras. 

600 acres expropriated in Quintana Roo for new Mayan Train route

Mexico has seized 198 lots of land in Quintana Roo along phase 5 of the Mayan Train's path.

Omicron strain now dominant in Yucatán

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 now appears to be the most common form of the virus in Yucatán.