The old building will become a species conservation center and will hold some exhibits, including the Sea Lions, the Penguin and the Aquaponics area.
Mazatlán, Sinaloa.- On September 13, Acuario Mazatlán will be in office for 41 years, and from then on it will operate against the clock, since at the beginning of 2022, it is estimated that the Sea of Cortez Aquarium will open its doors, which will replace the first one, this despite the fact that the old aquatic center continues to be the main attraction of the port, with 2,500 daily entries during the week and 4,000, on weekends, in high seasons.
Its annual income ranges between 58.8 and 69.5 million pesos, an amount higher than the budgets of other para- municipalities and institutions such as the municipal DIF System (63.3 million pesos), the Municipal Sports Institute (39 million pesos), and Implan (11 million pesos). and the Municipal Institute of Youth (8.8 million pesos).
Initially, the public-private association (APP) contract signed in October 2018 with the Mazatlán City Council, contemplated the total extinction of the aquatic center as of January 2019; however, in November 2018, the current administration agreed to an “addendum” to said contract, in which it was stated that the paramunicipal was not going to disappear completely, but that the concession area (which covers one hectare) would be conserved 30% of the total land area.
The agreement is that Acuario Mazatlán will close its fish tanks when the new building comes into operation, and this is expected to be until 2022, as the works are delayed by 20% and will end at the end of this year, with a trial period.
When closing as an Aquarium, the paramunicipal will reopen its facilities as a center for the conservation and reproduction of marine species and wild animals, with some of its exhibits, including the Sea Lion, the Penguin, the Aquaponics area, among others.
Since last year, the areas occupied by the Oceanic Fish Tank, the Planetarium, the Swim with Rays, the deer area, a section of the aviary, the kiosk, the Botanical Garden, and the one for tropical and aquatic birds were delivered to the concession company.
At the same time, it also began with the reduction of personnel not by agreement, but in accordance with the Federal Labor Law, with resources from the New Aquarium Mar de Cortés trust.
From 70 to 80 people who were scheduled to leave last year, only 21 workers were liquidated, whose liquidations represented an amount of 1 million 710 thousand 712 pesos.
This year, another three workers joined, who were paid 80 thousand 222 pesos. So of 130 who were on the payroll, only 24 have been discharged.
Director Pablo Rojas Zepeda commented that progress is being made in cutting personnel and that around 60 dismissals are pending, representing an outlay of approximately 6 million pesos.
WILL CONTINUE TO FUNCTIONS
The head of the paramunicipal has indicated that Acuario Mazatlán will change its name and will start operations when the new building opens when the fish tanks are closed, but species conservation programs will prevail, such as the permanent protection of sea turtles that reach the beaches of the port, which this year celebrated its 31st edition and that of the reproduction of the Humboldt penguins.
He said that the programs for the conservation, protection, and reproduction of species cannot disappear with the closure of the Aquarium, since not only para-municipal personnel participate in it, but also other agencies such as Civil Protection, Public Security, Ecology Directorate, Operadora de Beaches, Profepa and the Secretariat of the Navy.
The paramunicipal will continue to function as a recovery center for wild species that are confiscated by the authority (Profepa) or brought by citizens, including birds (pelicans, herons, and ducks), stranded and terrestrial marine mammals (raccoons, badgers and opossums), reptiles and artificial breeding, Macaws and Parakeets.
The possibility of a collaboration under an agreement with the company that will operate the Sea of Cortez Aquarium is also foreseen to maintain the exhibitions of sea lions and birds as the main attractions.
As part of this adaptation, Acuario Mazatlán invested 38.4 million pesos last year in the remodeling of the parking lot, the “Muévete Maz” program, transportation equipment, installation of sprinklers, a sanitization tunnel and sinks, as well as in the second stage of the jellyfish and the improvement of the production of live food.
The Museum of the Sea, the Agapornis area, Pez Doctor, the Crocodile area, the cafeteria, and the new fish tank “Ecosistema Regional del Sur de Sinaloa” were also remodeled.
The carp pond that was in one of the concession areas was relocated and commercial premises were built.
Only in the Pingüinario 25 million 851 thousand 819 pesos have been invested, whose project recovered facilities and equipment from the failed Tiburonario, with a value in the order of 52.6 million pesos.
The reconstruction of the building has two levels, one for the exhibition and the other for the clinic, with the main pond, quarantine area, maternity area, kitchen, and interaction area.
The project contemplates a third stage that is the technical area and that will put this Penguin in a world-class position.
It has been said that the income obtained in this center that will supply the Mazatlán Aquarium will be used for conservation programs for marine and wild species, as well as for the construction of shelters and social work for the benefit of the municipality of Mazatlán.
58.8 million pesos was the annual income that Acuario Mazatlán had during 2020.
38.4 million pesos invested the paramunicipal in construction and remodeling works last year.
25.8 million pesos has been exercised in the Pingüinario, the new attraction of the Aquarium.
VISITS IN HIGH SEASON
1,600 to 2,500 people per day
2,500 to 4,000 people a day