A young marine biologist has taken to social media to draw attention to the trash problem on Isla Venados (Deer Island), a natural protected area located off the coast of Mazatlán, Sinaloa.
Cui Corrales, known as @labiologolife on TikTok, posted a video to his social media accounts that shows litter strewn on the ground of the small island, also known as la isla del medio (the middle island).
“Paper with shit on it, … as the island doesn’t have a bathroom visitors go to the toilet in the jungle,” he said. “… Meters and meters of plastic bottles, diapers, even condoms and invasive animals living among the rubbish,” Corrales continued.
He railed against tourists for not following advice not to take shells from the beach while leaving trash scattered all over the sand. Deceased French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau wouldn’t approve, Corrales suggested.
@labiologolife Esto es un llamado a las autoridades de #Mazatlan #Sinaloa … #parati #viral #comparte #mexico #contaminacion ♬ sonido original – Cui Corrales
“During one of his visits to Mazatlán he asked mazatlecos to preserve these three islands,” he said, referring to the Isla de Venados, Isla de Chivos and Isla de Pájaros.
“… They’re extremely important for marine ecosystems and a lot of migratory birds depend on them. I ask you: do you think we’re preserving them like … [Cousteau] would have wanted?”
Corrales concluded his video by advising the environmental protection agency Profepa and the federal Environment Ministry that complaints about the rubbish problem have already been filed. “Excessive tourism, health risks due to the tourists who leave their shit and paper in the jungle, illegal provision of services, exotic species and more. Please take action on the matter,” he said.
The video has been viewed almost 130,000 times on TikTok and over 25,000 times on Instagram.
According to the newspaper El Sol de Mazatlán, local officials have indicated they are aware of the trash problem on Isla Venados. “It has a lot of contamination, a lot of garbage. A lot of tourists are going there and it concerns us. We’re working on it,” said councilor Bernardo Alcaraz Conde, head of a municipal committee responsible for beaches and other natural areas frequented by tourists.
“… We’re very committed to taking actions that help us to eliminate, eradicate or minimize these kinds of situations,” he said. “It’s something that is complex because it doesn’t depend on local authorities, but I think we can get federal authorities to help us,” Alcaraz added.
Among the measures that could help solve the trash problem are imposing fines on litterers and limiting the number of people allowed to visit Isla de Venados on a daily basis.
With reports from El Sol de Mazatlán