WorldsAquarium sponsors Marine Protected Area in San Carlos, Sonora Mexcio

WorldsAqarium working to save the Sea of Cortes

For Immediate Release, April 19 , 2016

Contact: Vince Radice (520) 303-2789 email: vince@worldsaquarium.com

 

 

On the 2nd of April my self and Ana Luisa Figueroa from Islas del Gulfo de California met with our federal congresswoman from Guaymas, Susan Corella Platt, regarding WorldsAquariuim’s proposal of a marine protected area here in San Carlos. The meeting had a very positive out come and Susana and Ana Luisa are very interested in moving this initiative forward.

Here is what we propose.

Marine Park Full Color

WorldsAquarium proposal for the creation of a Marine Protected Area around San Francisco Bay, Algodones Bay and La Manga Bay. This area would exclude large steel vessels that fish sardine and shrimp commercially from dredging the bottom of the ocean. These vessels produce larges amounts of incidental by catch and are some of the most wasteful forms of fishing on the planet. Large commercial shrimp vessels can often have 10 to 1 incidental by catch. What that means is that for ever kilo of shrimp up to 10 kilos of reef fish can be killed. This fish is less valuable commercially and usually discarded back into the sea. This report by the Enviornmental Justice Foundation, scroll down to page 13, shows the Sea of Cortes shrimp fishery is the 6th worst trawl fishery in the world for by catch. Just slightly below the Gulf of Mexico trawl fleet. Here is a photo of a typical trawl dredge taken by Brian Skerry from a report by Oceana on shrimp trawl by catch.

These types of trawl nets must come to an en in San Carlos if our reefs are ever to recover!
These types of trawl nets must come to an en in San Carlos if our reefs are ever to recover!

 

The over exploitation of marine resources in the Sea of Cortes is well documented. Unsustainable illegal fishing by the commercial fishing fleets of Guaymas have had a negative impact on the tourism industry in San Carlos. WorldsAquarium’s goal is to bring more order to the marine area that surrounds San Carlos.

Large commercial fishing vessels that dredge the bottom of the ocean will be excluded from commercial fishing within the designated areas. Artisanal fisherman i.e. Pangas and sport fisherman will not be excluded from the designated area but will be expected to abide by all the current laws that govern fishing.

WorldsAquarium will demonstrate via socioeconomic studies that the area which would be protected will have a higher economic value opposed to an area that is not protected. It has been shown in many areas around the world that commercial fishing actually can improve around marine parks. One of if not the most successful marine park in the world lies in Cabo Pulmo, just a few hundred miles south from San Carlos on the Baja Peninsula.

The small area that we propose for protection is but a minuscule fraction of the total area available to the commercial shrimp and sardine fleet. We will show that the amount of fish taken from the proposed area is a very small percentage of the total fishing effort of the commercial shrimp and sardine boats.

The small amount of revenue that might be lost to the commercial fishing sector would more than be made up for by the huge gain in Eco-tourism related activities such as sport fishing, kayaking, bird watching, etc.

 

  • The tourism Sector of Guaymas, San Carlos and La Manga
  • The Artisanal Fisherman in small vessels such as pangas often called ribereños
  • The large steel commercial fishing vessels that fish for sardine and shrimp

 

Although only a small percentage of large boats enter our bays they can do great damage to the ecology
Although only a small percentage of large commercial boats enter our bays and dredge the bottom they can do great damage to the ecology in just one fishing session: such as this shrimp boat weighing anchor in Algodones bay

 

Here is a brief description of how the process of creating a Marine Protected Area will begin.

Soon a process of data collection will begin on users inside the designated zone. This process will define which sectors use the area and how often. While that data process is taking place information on the proposal will be sent to all sectors involved. After all sectors have been notified of the proposal a series of public forums will be held for users to express their ideas, and opinions on a marine protected zone in the San Carlos area.

 

 

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