What reefs are there in Mexico?
Reefs are an invaluable resource when it comes to ecosystems. Mexico is a country characterized by having a large number of reefs in the Caribbean Sea, in the Pacific Ocean and the Mexican Gulf.
The Mexican reefs
Because they are certainly vulnerable ecosystems, most Mexican reefs are protected under categories such as Natural Protected Areas. In Mexico, we can divide the reefs into six major regions, such as the following:
- The Gulf of California, western sector of the Mexican Pacific Ocean
- The Mexican Caribbean
- The Revillagigedo Archipelago
- The Gulf of Campeche and bank of Campeche
- The Maria Islands
- The Coast of the South Pacific Ocean
The ecological and social function of the reefs
Many are the benefits that the ecosystems par excellence as coral reefs brings for humanity. First, we can mention that reefs provide “ecosystem services”, such as the following:
Protection of cities from coastal erosion factors, which is influenced by the constant presence of tropical storms, hurricanes or various effects of the climate change.
Maintenance of the seas’ biodiversity.
Recreation services or aesthetic enjoyment, allowing the development of activities such as diving in reefs.
Among the wide variety of Mexican reefs, some of the most recognized in this country are:
- The Alacranes Reef
- The Reef of Cozumel
- The Reef of Puerto Morelos
- Most of the Mesoamerican Reef System
The Alacranes Reef
The Alacranes Reef is located in the Protected Natural Area of Alacranes Reef National Park. This reef is in the Gulf of Mexico, north of the continental shelf in Yucatan.
This reef is characterized mainly by its extensive biodiversity and its great fishing potential. Besides, it is a fundamental area for the protection and preservation of germplasm of species that are in danger of extinction.
The Alacranes Reef is practically unaltered, maintaining its immense biological wealth and its cultural value.
The Reef of Cozumel is located in Quintana Roo, in front of the coast of Playa del Carmen. With more than 500 years old, we can find in there the second largest reef barrier in the world, being up to 17 kilometers long.
In 1996, the Reef of Cozumel was declared National Marine Park.
The Reef of Puerto Morelos
The Reef of Puerto Morelos is characterized for being part of a great reef barrier that receives the name of “Great Belt of Reefs of the Western Atlantic”. The national park in which it is located, is part of the Mexican Caribbean Sea and constitutes a Natural Protected Area.
Those mentioned above are some of the reefs that can be found in Mexican waters and constitute not only a fundamental social and ecological factor, but also a tourist attraction par excellence.
These reefs are especially sought after by tourism, for the development of activities of interest such as diving and snorkeling.
Considering that they are one of the most beautiful attractions in the ocean, we must treat them with respect and seek by all means their conservation.