OBJECTIVE: World’s Aquarium’s main objective is technical and legal defense of existing environmental law that specifically protect sport fish species and marine life through the activity of recreational sport fishing and tourism throughout all of Mexico with an emphasis on the Sea of Cortez.
NATIONAL STRATEGY (MEX): Advocacy in support of laws that protect fish species reserved to sport fishing considered in Mexico’s Congress. Advocacy in support of administrative provisions issued by the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (SAGARPA) through the National Council of Fishing and Aquaculture. Monitoring and advocacy of all legal and administrative provisions that that could negatively impact fisheries issued in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora and Sinaloa.
INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY: Secure the enforcement of pertinent United States law. US action is critical to achieving enforcement of fisheries and environmental laws in Mexico. Therefore it is imperative that a dialog begin with the United States’ Sea Food Inspection Program that is enacted under NOAA Fisheries and the Department of Commerce. Until very recently, NOAA was unaware of Article 68 of the General Law of Mexican Fisheries and its protection of sport fishing species. Under US law, Mexican billfish are now protected under H.R. 2706 Billfish Conservation Act that was signed into law in October 2012. Mexican Dorado are protected under the Lacey Act (16 U.S.C. SS 3371-3378). The Lacey Act prohibits two general types of activity. First, it prohibits the failure to mark, as well as the falsification of documents for, most wildlife shipments, providing a civil and criminal penalty, respectively for these violations. Second, it prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, or plants that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported, or sold. The Lacey Act’s Trafficking sections generally prohibit certain acts involving wildlife, fish, or plants that have been taken, possessed or transported, or sold in violation of a federal, state, tribal, or foreign law or regulation. Worlds Aquarium must strongly advocate in the US to ensure that fish illegally caught in Mexican waters are no longer allowed to enter into the United States in violation of American law.
STRATEGIC ALLIANCES: Worlds Aquarium will form strategic alliances with several Non Governmental Organizations in order to assist in the protection of endangered species such as: sea birds, sea turtles, sea mammals, pelagic fish and sharks. Among these Non Governmental Organizations are: Ocean Conservancy, WWF, SeaWatch, Nature Conservancy, CEMDA, Grupo Tortuguero de las Californias (Turtle Group of the Californias), COBI and PRONATURA among others.
As previously discussed, advocacy is necessary for the defense and/or inclusion of favorable provisions for sport fish. Efforts in Mexico will include the following agencies and organizations: (1) The Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food (SAGARPA); (2) Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT); (3) Secretary of Economy; (4) Secretary of Tourism; (5) Chambers of Deputies and Senators; and (6) the Governments of the States of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora and Sinaloa. In the US, NOAA’s office of International Affairs & Sea Food Inspection Program along with the Department of Commerce will be contacted and a relationship will be developed with these agencies.
The interaction with diverse groups of sport fishing advocates will be secured to obtain legal and technical advice. For example: Sindicato de Pesca Deportiva de Los Cabos (Minerva Saenz presides over this Union), State Sport Fishing Associations, National Federation of Sport Fishing, and other groups.
The work will include the classification of technical information on each species intended for sport fishing under Article 68.
- Defeat amendments to the General Fishing and Sustainable Aquaculture Law.
- Amend Mexico’s Shark Fishing Regulation NOM-029, established to regulate the commercial fishing of sharks and stingrays.
- Amend NOM-029 to require commercial shark and stingray fishing beyond 50-miles of the coast.
- Repeal NOM-029’s allowance of incidental take (by-catch) on shark fishing.
- Propose amendments to Mexican fisheries laws to provide support to sport fishing service providers.
- Stop the flow of fish illegally captured in Mexico from crossing the border into the United States in violation of American law.