• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Cozumel reef health

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by Yellowdog, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. Yellowdog

    Yellowdog Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Maryland
    185
    58
    While I feel terribly for the citizens of Cozumel who depend on tourist dollars I think that the reefs ecosystem was strained to its limits before the Pandemic. The last time I was there in 2019 they had just started the closures. The poor health of the reefs, bleached or dead / dying coral and an absence of sea life was noticeable, at least to my eye. I got open water certified with my daughter in Cozumel around 2010 and have been there diving most years since so I witnessed the decline overtime but 2019 was quite a shock. In any case I am wondering if the Covid 19 pandemic was a blessing in disguise for the reef. With fewer boats, divers, guests at the hotels and no cruise ships the environment has had a vacation and I am hoping the reef is thriving again. I am traveling to Cozumel in May with the family so I will get a chance to see first hand. Fingers crossed.
     
  2. robd

    robd Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Twin Cities
    51
    17
    I think your 100% correct we have come here 3 times since Christmas. It’s been GREAT!! But I am not sure it’s the diving, but the ships, diesel, black water dumping, and so on. And they need the ship to survive. I was told this week that the taxes from tourists here pay for not only Cozumel but like 27% of Mexico’s expenses.
     
  3. JFS

    JFS Contributor

    717
    375
    Highly unlikely tbey are dumping blackwater. The cruise ships bring in tbousands of people a day to the island. Lots go to the southern beach clubs. Thats a lot of sewage going into the ocean along with resorts that are normally at capacity.
     
    ibj40 likes this.
  4. newgentry

    newgentry Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Virginia
    110
    40
    We came back last July right after the island opened back up, and the improvement in the reef was significant, in fact I think I described in a post as the best I'd ever seen in over 15 years. The biggest thing I noticed at the time, and still do now having come back several times again since, is the big improvement in the brain coral. You'll remember that it was getting wiped out by SCTLD, or I think that's the acronym anyway. Now? I haven't seen much, if any, diseased brain coral lately, everything is vibrant and healthy. The giant groupers are back as well. As far as sea life, I really haven't seen much a difference pre-Covid v. post, with one exception, that being a big decline in green moray eels, at least on my dives. I wasn't seeing that many pre-Covid any longer, and I'm not seeing any now. I did see a baby green moray yesterday on La Francesca (that was a first for me), but the numbers that I'm seeing are down. Now whether that's just me, v. COVID, v. water temp, v. something else? Who knows.
     
  5. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    11,177
    4,340
    In general, one must be careful about making judgements on trends from a small sample size, and unless you dive the same reef many, many times your sample size is statistically small. Also, temporal correlation does not prove causation.

    That said, though, are you saying that the brain coral heads that were to all appearances dead or dying a couple of years ago have recovered or been resurrected? Did you not see any heads contaminated/infected by the "white blight"? I don't know enough about coral polyp reproduction to know whether free-swimming larvae will repopulate a deserted existing structure, but it seems to me that is what has to have happened if they are healthy again.
     
  6. JFS

    JFS Contributor

    717
    375
    I have not seen a lot of brain coral that has come back to life. The ones that were affected are dead and now look like rocks with algae. There is still healthy brain coral seen on most dives that do not appear to have visible whitening as was predominant last year.
     
  7. Yellowdog

    Yellowdog Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Maryland
    185
    58
    I would have thought that there would be serious and useful information available on the current condition of the reefs but a google search does not turn up anything interesting.
     
  8. Streydog

    Streydog Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: DFW, TX
    1,072
    757
    If there was not a reason or demand to have a marine park I wonder what it would be like. The few times I have had a chance to dive outside of the marine park, where fishing is permitted, I really noticed the lack of marine life.
     
  9. sefuchs

    sefuchs Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Battle Ground, WA
    265
    136
    I dive up north frequently and I don’t agree with this statement. I like the marine park concept but the marine life up north seems awfully healthy to me.
     
  10. Streydog

    Streydog Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: DFW, TX
    1,072
    757
    Up north where? I don't have a ton of dives outside the park but last trip we dove a couple dives north of the island, past Barricuda, in 3 hours of diving I didn't see a gouper larger than a ft. we had spears too and no lion fish. Dove once on the east side and kind of the same story. Like I said I have not had a ton of dives there but that's my experience. Have seen sail fish off the wall at San Juan though.
     

Share This Page