22 Oct 2008

NOM029-PESCA-2006 - a terrible regulation

Make a difference!

Shark fishing regulation NOM029-PESCA-2006, combined with the recent "30% incidental bycatch agreement" has created a very serious problem for the ecosystem and the economy of the Sea of Cortez. These rules combine to provide incentives for longliners to enter the near shore waters and capture and sell lucrative sport species. If this measure if fully implemented, the results will be disastrous.

PLEASE, TAKE A MOMENT to send an e-mail note to the distinguished Senator Luis Coppola from Baja California Sur, and selected other Mexican representatives. A click of your mouse will make a difference.

Note: it is very important to personalize this email. Add and delete as you deem appropriate (it's very easy), and please add your name and address to the bottom of the letter.

Distinguished Luis Coppola:

An "incidental by-catch agreement" was recently added to shark fishing regulation NOM029-PESCA-2006. This addition will likely have terrible consequences for the economy of Baja California Sur and for the ecosystems of the Sea of Cortes. I strongly urge you to initiate a review of this agreement to study its probable effects before complete implementation causes irreversible damage.

The "by-catch agreement" sets specific limits on fish captured by commercial operations, but it does nothing to change the methods used, nor does it provide any enforcement. In practice, SAGARPA has found that actual by-catch is around 90% of a commercial operation's take. Usually these fish are ground into fertilizer or otherwise discarded. In the case of the BCS near shore fishery, however, much of the by-catch is sport species, the billfish and dorado that drive much of Baja's tourism economy. The "by-catch agreement" permits and encourages commercial operations to catch and sell their valuable "by-catch", thereby driving local fishermen out of business and destroying the sport fishery. Without serious enforcement measures and changes to fishing techniques, we should expect that longliners working near the BCS shore will take around 90% of our valuable sport species. Furthermore, we should expect the sport fishery to be decimated by these practices.

Please join the voices calling for real study of this terrible regulation before it is too late. Even though fisheries like ours are resilient, eventually they will disappear entirely, as we've seen in innumerable case studies from around the world.

Your comments will be sent first to Sen. Luis Coppola of Baja Calif. Sur. The e-mail will be CC'd to the following officials, who share responsibility managing the resources of the Sea of Cortes:

Antonio Vivanco Casamadrid (Coordinador de asesores del Presidente)
C. Alberto Cardenas Jimenez (Secretario SAGARPA)
C. Gerardo Ruiz Mateos (Secretario de Economia)
C. Rodolfo Elizondo Torres (Secretario de Turismo)

Use this link to send your email: Stop Commercialization of Sport Fish!