Turtle nesting season is set to begin shortly in Playa del Carmen beaches. For these reasons local environmentalist groups in conjunction with local authorities are holding meetings with local beach front hotels to inform them of the regulations that will be in place through the nesting season that starts in May. In fact, hotel staff also have to attend training sessions to ensure that they follow certain procedures to make the beach “welcoming” for the turtles.
Certainly turtle nesting season can create exciting activities for some beach goers. This year though it seems that local authorities are fully on board with environmentalist groups to monitor tourist activities on Playa del Carmen beaches. Doing so, to again ensure that they create the best environment for these turtles. Creating this ideal environment for turtles though could come at the detriment of tourist activity.
What Hotels Are Being Asked To Do To Prep The Area For Turtle Nesting Season
Lucelly Ramos Montejo, director of the local Environment and Climate Change Institute conducted a session where she provided information and training to local hotel staff members. She mentioned that she was pleased with how the events unfolded, while also talking about what will be required of hotels in the region in the next few weeks.
Basically, turtles are going to need clear beaches to be able to find nesting areas. For that, hotels are going to be asked to remove their beach chairs, and other outdoor furniture after a set hour every single evening. One of the bigger issues though may be the fact that turtles need the beach to seem dark enough for them to feel safe nesting.
This means that hotels are not going to be allowed to use powerful lights during the nights throughout nesting season. This could potentially affect the ability of hotels to host events that can go on into late hours of the night. Ramos Montejo mentioned that in previous seasons weddings had literally been stopped in an effort to create these ideal conditions for the nesting turtles. Ramos Monejo warned hotels saying,
“We had a very complete training session, we invited staff from other municipalities to be able to form a collective effort. We need to join efforts to patrol these directives … We’ve implemented the 062 directive regarding sea turtles. It establishes that (hotels) shall remove beach furniture at a set hour during the night, and should refrain from turning on lights that go beyond a specific voltage. If they don’t comply then we may proceed to sanction them.”
What This Could Mean For Tourists Headed To The Region
As previously mentioned, these directives could impact beach activity in Playa del Carmen. Beach operating hours may not necessarily see a major change. Most of the local beaches operate from 9 to 5. At least those are the hours that lifeguards are on duty. If you’re someone who likes to look at the moon and stars from the beach, though, you may not be able to use your favorite beach chair while staring at the stars.
For the most part, resorts haven’t necessarily run into trouble for the actions of a few guests. If they hold weddings or other events past set hours that could be a problem. Ramos Montejo recalled that certain resorts were fined for these types of situations a couple of seasons ago. She mentioned that marine officers actually arrived to shut down the event as it was affecting the turtles’ natural habitat. If you’re looking to hold a wedding in Playa del Carmen, nesting season may not be the ideal time of year to get that done. Finally, Ramos Montejo said that they are expecting three main turtle species to return to the region which has been their habitual nesting spot for generations.
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