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Latino Daily News

Tuesday June 21, 2011

Mexico Bans Shark Fishing in Federal Waters

The National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (Conapesca) decided to ban the fishing of all shark species in federal waters on both coasts in order to contribute to the conservation of the resource.

The ban will be extended during the period of greatest reproductive intensity of the main species, that is to say, between May and August each year, and in each particular region.

According to Mexican fishery authorities, this is the first such action taken in the countries of Latin America.

Commission officials met on June 2 with concessionaires and licensees of commercial fishing for shark and specialists in this resource to present the results of “research on reproductive periods of representative species and the effects of their protection” by scientists from the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca), reported Conapesca.

During the meeting held in Mexico City, Inapesca researchers detailed the methodology used in the sampling, presented the results of the studies in the geographical areas where the fleet of the country’s coastal work and the information from the observers’ programme on board.

Before publishing the establishment of the closed season in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF), Conapesca will perform indications regarding the regulatory project with additional technical considerations made by experts of the Institute.

The meeting was also attended by some representatives of the National Chamber of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Canainpesca), of the Union of Coastal Shipowners from Océano Pacífico AC, of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives (Conacoop) and Inapesca specialists.

Juan Campos Cárdenas, a spokesman for the Federation of Shark and Scale Cooperatives assured that fishermen are willing to enforce the ban. However, he sought to establish compensation for the period of inactivity.

While the Government considers that about 30,000 tonnes of sharks are caught annually in Mexican waters, several organizations for the protection of marine fauna warn that overfishing has reduced the volume, AFP reported.

Photo Credits: Fish Information & Services