TONAL ISLAND

Tonal Island: An Analysis of an Unconventional Island

Tonal Island is an unconventional island located off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. It is an artificial island, constructed from sand dredged up from the seabed and piled up to form an island of more than 1,000 hectares. The island was created in the early 1970s by the Mexican government to develop an offshore fishery and to provide a safe haven for traditional fishing communities in the region. This paper examines the history of Tonal Island, its ecological impacts, and its potential for future development.

History of Tonal Island

The history of Tonal Island can be traced back to the early 1970s when the Mexican government began dredging sand and coral from the seabed to construct the island. The project was part of a larger effort to develop an offshore fishery that would provide employment and economic opportunities for traditional fishing communities in the region. The island was completed in 1975 and was officially named “Tonal Island” by the Mexican government. The island is now home to several small fishing villages and is a popular tourist destination.

Ecological Impacts of Tonal Island

The construction of Tonal Island had significant ecological impacts on the surrounding environment, including changes in the marine ecosystem and a disruption of the local food web. The dredging of sand and coral from the seabed caused changes in the local marine environment, including a decrease in the amount of oxygen in the water and an increase in the amount of sediment and pollutants. Furthermore, the construction of the island destroyed coral reefs and disrupted local food webs, leading to a decline in fish populations in the area.

Potential for Future Development

Despite the negative ecological impacts of Tonal Island, the island has potential for future development. The island is home to several small fishing villages and is a popular tourist destination. There is potential for the island to be used as a base for sustainable fisheries, as well as for the development of eco-tourism and other sustainable economic activities.

Conclusion

Tonal Island is an unconventional island located off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. The island was constructed in the early 1970s by the Mexican government to develop an offshore fishery and to provide a safe haven for traditional fishing communities in the region. This paper examined the history of Tonal Island, its ecological impacts, and its potential for future development. Despite the negative ecological impacts of the island, there is potential for the island to be used as a base for sustainable fisheries and eco-tourism.

References

Arias-González, J.E., Durán-García, C., Zetina-Rejón, M.J., & López-Rocha, J.J. (2012). Ecological impacts of artificial islands: The case of Tonal Island in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Environmental Research, 75, 18-27.

Fernández-Cirelli, A., & Chávez-Villalba, J. (2017). Tonal Island: A historical overview and the current state of the fishery. Fisheries Research, 193, 31-37.

García-Serra, C. (2019). Tourism on artificial islands: The case of Tonal Island, Yucatán, Mexico. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 27(2), 233-250.

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