Sustainable Fishing inMexicoCan the current level of fishing in the country of Mexicobe sustained at past and current levels? Nick Marabeas
Introduction• Population: 114,975,000 Facts About Mexico• Size: 716,606 sqare miles• Located in North America, south of The United States of America. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico• 268,727 people employed by fisheries and aquaculture• Fisheries account for 0.8% of the GDP (2001)• 1.2 million tons of fish caught for human
Sustainability of Fishing in Mexico Before 1960, shrimp, tuna and other high-value fish were 50% of the total fish capture. This amounted to 200,000 metric tons of fish per year (mt/year) Since then, the amount has risen to 1,400,000 mt/year
This Is Not SustainableCurrent levels of fishingand other factors aredepleting the fisheriesoff the coast of Mexicoboth in the Gulf ofCalifornia and the Gulfof Mexico.
Fishery Locations Fisheries are located mainly in the Pacific Ocean and in the Gulf of California Small fishing ships and semi-industrial fleets account for most of the fishing catch About 7% of the total fisheries are inland
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico has become so depleted of commercial fishing resources that the Mexican government does not consider this a viable economic resource. The BP oil disaster has contributed to this already serious problem.
Local Markets Fisheries have a greater importance to the local communities than the national or international market Over 68% of the fish caught by Mexican fishermen are for local market sales. Almost 100% of the fish caught by foreign fishing fleets within Mexican waters leave Mexico.
Effects of Overfishing Although the data on this chart is from 1939, it highlights the effects of overfishing in the region. This problem has been ongoing for the past 100 years and continues the need to be addressed Although the fishing industry accounts for only 0.8% of the GDP, current trends see this amount diminishing over time
Other Contributing FactorsIn addition to overfishing, other factorsthat are contributing to the problem Poor management Increased recreational use Pollution Declining food supplies and oxygen-depleted zones are causing dolphins, fish, and other wildlife to die in the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding areas.
Restoring the Fishing Industry A comprehensive restoration plan is needed to restore sustainability Effective governing of the area Public involvement Adequate funding Monitoring progress to make sure the plan is followed
Top Priorities Protecting, restoring, and enhancing the shoreline This is the home to shrimp, which supplies the fishing industry as well as food for other ocean species Maintaining healthy, sustainable fisheries Restore the populations and manage the usage Maintaining coastal and marine habitats Home to oyster beds, this supplies food to the habitat and fishing resources Reducing the ‘Dead Zone’ Excess nutrients have depleted the oxygen in the Gulf of Mexico. Plans to provide buffer zones in the Mississippi watershed would aid in this problem Monitoring the ecosystem
Summary & Conclusion The fishing areas surrounding Mexico are not currently sustainable for a variety of reasons. Overfishing and pollution are main factors If the fishing industry is to become sustainable again, the region must be repopulated with native species and the habitats restored to habitable conditions. Once this has happened, the industry must be monitored to ensure proper sustainability.
ReferencesFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, April 1, 2012.< http://www.fao.org/fi/oldsite/FCP/en/MEX/profile.htm >Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook, April 1, 2012. Mexico, <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mx.html >Calisphere, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, 1939. The Fishes of the Family Scianidae of California. Accessed April 1, 2012. <http://content.cdlib.org/view?docId=kt0d5n97jz&brand=calisphere&doc.view=entire_text >Ocean Conservancy, Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Restoration: Rebuilding a National Treasure. Accessed April 1, 2012. < http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/fisheries/ >