Sunday, January 10, 2021

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Sunday, January 10

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    This year the ban on catching octopus began January 1st, which normally starts in mid-December. (The fishermen also asked for an extension of the grouper catching season, which was denied, so they are banned from fishing for grouper throughout February & March, as usual.)
     The regional ban on catching octopus continues thru July 31st, so if you're eating fresh, locally-caught octopus during this time, it was poached. The season differs on the Pacific coast, so fresh product can be imported from there, or locally caught in-season and frozen. Veracruz has its own seasons, with the ban lifting in March & resuming for the month of August.
     "Mexican Four-Eyed Octopus"!?? There is a unique species of octopus living off the shores of the Yucatan Peninsula, from Isla del Carmen to Isla Mujeres. Named the "Mayan Octopus", it's locally known as the "Four-Eyed Octopus", because there are a couple spots under its eyes, which create this illusion. It's also unusual because its tentacles have two suction cups instead of one. The government says this species represents over 90% of Mexico's octopus catch, for an annual economic value of hundreds of millions pesos and 15,000-20,000 direct jobs. Thousands of tons are exported annually, with the majority going to Asia.
The Mayan Octopus lives in sea-grass prairies & coral formations, dining on crustaceans, fish & other mollusks, who suffer temporary paralysis from its saliva. Its method of reproduction differs from other octopus species in that it lacks a larval phase, so the young are born as fully developed, miniature-adults who reach full-size in 8-9 months. Their short lifespan & unique method of reproduction offer the potential for commercial farming. Mayan women in Sisal, Yucatan, have been part of a experimental octopus farm for over a decade, under the direction of a UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) research team.
When a female Mayan octopus is ready to lay her eggs, she finds a cavity to hide in and may camouflage her den with stones and shells. After she deposits her eggs for the only time in her 12 to 18 month-long life, she spends the next 4-5 weeks blowing jets of water over them so they stay clean & ventilated. Fiercely protective of her lair, she doesn’t come out, doesn’t eat & dies shortly after her offspring hatch.
Written by Ronda Winn-Roberts
Photo: Gómez, 2015 in CICESE brochure "Que sabemos del cultivo de pulpo?"
This article in English about Mayan octopuses isn't just about farming them.

 Condolences to the family and friends of the young man who lost his life early this morning in a one-vehicle accident on prolongacion Rueda Medina, near the palapa restaurant "Comejen" (which is near the whale shark monument). He had apparently lost control of his motorcycle, a Honda 160, and was found face down on the pavement about 40 meters from the vehicle. The Red Cross paramedics found no vital signs. Tertulia reports the accident occurred around 3:30am.


On the state's weekly ranking for colonias with the highest number of active (reported) cases for December 27 to January 2, Meteorologico on Isla Mujeres ranked #6 with four cases.  (Now it reports 5)

Friday, the state of Quintana Roo concluded the second stage of conducting rapid Covid-19 tests, which began on December 26th. A total of 5768 tests were done as of January 7th, in the municipalities of Benito Juarez (Cancun), Tulum and Cozumel. where free testing was still available Friday, Jan. 8th. 

   In the first stage from Dec. 12th to 24th, the state's goal of administering 8000 tests was achieved, with 1700 in Othon P Blanco (Chetumal), 2500 in Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen) and 4250 in Benito Juarez (Cancun). These statistics were reported by the state Secretary of Health, Alejandra Aguirre, who concluded by advising the populace to stay at home and employ preventative measures including wearing face masks, frequent handwashing or use of alcohol gel and maintaining healthy distance.

On January 9th, Isla Mujeres continued to report a total of 242 cases with 22 deaths & now there are 200 recovered. The state geoportal data for 1/9 continues to report 8 active cases by colonia as: Meteorolotico-5, Salina Grande-1, Caridad del Cobre-1, and La Gloria-1, On the national map for 1/9, Isla Mujeres reports 176 suspicious and 148 negatives.


 From the City (Ayuntamiento de Isla Mujeres)

 The Mayor says...If you visit the beaches of Isla Mujeres 🏖️ remember to take your trash and deposit it in the nearest container.

The Mayor says... A clean and healthy municipality like Isla Mujeres requires the constant support of its population. The graphics say...Actions that can be done to maintain a Green Healthy Isla. Take out your trash according to the established schedule. Avoid littering in the streets. Throw your trash in the nearest container.

Paving of the four streets in colonia La Guadalupana has progressed rapidly and is 90% complete. More than 2000 square meters of pavement have been applied by the municipal government, and the project will include curbs, street-painting and signage.


Come and get to know the beaches of Isla Mujeres

The head of the ZOFEMAT (Federal Zone agency) in Isla Mujeres, Kerem Pinto Aguilar, said they are prepared to maintain the island's beaches in optimal condition during the upcoming sargasso season in February and March, for enjoyment by both visitors and residents. She pointed out that her department is prepared for the 2021 season with two crews of 15 people each, and tools that include wheelbarrows, rakes, and special machinery for sweeping the beaches and removing the sargasso. She said that due to the geographical position of the island, historically North Beach receives the most sargasso, however thanks to experience from previous years, when the work was done in a timely and efficient manner, the good image of the island has been maintained, whose beaches are one of its main attractions. She concluded by saying, "We have gained experience from previous years, so we prepare in time in order that our beaches don't suffer great afflictions, and when there is a large influx of sargasso, the love for our island unites the business sector and the community, along with the municipal government, to maintain the beauty of our beaches."


   This blog is brought to you by....

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Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. We provide a list of links & direction to over 20 eateries within ten minutes walk, including Mango Cafe,  Mike's Pizza, Brisas, Rosa Sirena, Coco Jaguar, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery Chedraui & the local craft brewery.  Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean  


Full moon Jan 28 Thursday 6:40p

Jan 29 Friday at 7:41p

Jan 30 Saturday at 8:41p

Jan 31 Sunday at 9:40p

Feb 1 Monday at 10:39p

 Sunrise ~7:24

Sunset 6:21-6:37 (beginning vs end of month)


Public events have been suspended due to C-19. Holidays have featured online competitions and events. 

Jan. 6 Dia de los Tres Reyes/Three Kings Day

The Thor Heyerdahl traveling school-sailboat normally visits in late January-early February with about three dozen high school students on board. Under the tutelage of the experienced crew, the students learn to work together, sailing and navigating, as well as receiving their normal lessons. They sail from Germany to the Caribbean, but it's very possibly suspended this year. 

Sources for Weather Information:
LINK to Civil Protection Q Roo weather bulletin  (Spanish)
LINK to Mexico National Weather Service (Spanish)
 LINK to satellite images for the Mexico National Weather Service
 LINK to GOES East Band 16 GIF (animation)
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujeres


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