25 May 2007

Mexico’s New Shark and Ray Fishing Regulations Threaten Billfish & Other Ocean Resources

Despite strong opposition from The Billfish Foundation (TBF) and scores of partners in Mexico, Mexican officials approved Regulation NOM -029 (Shark Norma). This regulation, promoted as a way to stop the over-exploitation of sharks and rays, was rejected by Mexico’s last two Presidents, but strongly supported by commercial fishing interests in Ensenada, Sinaloa, Sonora, Mexican Fisheries (CONAPESCA) and some Mexican and United States Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

The people of Baja California Sur, TBF and other NGOs believe that NOM-029 is a deeply flawed regulation, which will have devastating overfishing consequences for billfish, sharks and rays even though a finning prohibition is included for sharks and rays. Healthy and abundant ocean resources are very important to the eco-tourism based economy in the Cabo and adjacent region, thus heightening the conservation ethic among many individuals and businesses working with TBF. At the same time commercial longline fishing interests have long lobbied for the regulations liberalized permitting requirements, opening the flood gates to thousands of vessels. Hidden potential threats to further reduce marine resources in and around Baja California Sur are throughout the approved regulation.

TBF, along with other groups, will fight to rescind these bad rules. TBF President Ellen Peel stated: “ We are working with our friends in Mexico to look for legal ammunition against the Norma-29, we are looking towards federal legislation to overrule this threat to ocean resources and we are continuing to network with conservation-minded Mexican friends ands supporters to overturn this foolish set of regulations.” Good conservation pays, irresponsible management is short sighted and causes everyone to lose.

If you fish in waters off Cabo and the Sea of Cortez or you support responsible management in those waters, let your voice be heard. Send your comments to

Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, Presidente de Mexico, felipe.calderon@presidencia.gob.mx

Cesar Nava, Secretario Particular, cesar.nava.vazquez@presidencia.gob.mx

Alberto Cardenas, Secretario Sagarpa, alberto.cardenas@sagarpa.gob.mx

Ramon Corral, Comisionado Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca, rcorrala@conapesca.sagarpa.gob.mx

Saniago Creel Miranda, Coordinador del GPPAN, santiago.creel@pan.senado.gob.mx

Manlio Fabio Vbeltrones, Coordinador del PRI, beltrones@senado.gob.mx

Arturo Escobar, Senador PVEM, aescobar@senado.gob.mx

Luis Coppola Joffroy, Senador PAN, luis.coppola@pan.senado.gob.mx

Jorge Alfonso Ituurbide Gurerra, Tecnico Secretaria Partiular Presidencia, aiturbide@presidencia.gob.mx

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