San Felipe, Baja, Mexico


(translated from Crisol Virtual)

Eight Pangas Seized

Eight boats were confiscated because its crew members carried out fishing activities in the reserve of the biosphere of the upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta, the refuge of the Vaquita Marina (ARVM), reported a joint communiqué of the Secretary of Navy and the Federal Attorney of environmental protection.

A coordinated action within the framework of the programme of comprehensive care to the upper Gulf of California was conducted by PROFEPA, with support from the Secretary of Navy (SEMAR), detained eight smaller vessels (commonly called pangas) that were fishing inside of the Area of Refuge of the Vaquita Marina (ARVM) and Reservation of the Biosphere of Upper Gulf of California and the Delta of the Colorado River (AGCyDRC).

In a first action, the PROFEPA and SEMAR surprised three vessels named 'El Triste I","El Triste III"and"El Triste IV", in which fishermen were harvesting clams (Panopea generosa) without authorization in matters of environmental impact within the refuge area for the protection of the Vaquita Marina, located in the portion of the reserve of the biosphere AGCyDRC.

The boats were retained together with 290,000 clams and the fishermen will be subjected to administrative procedures.

In a second action, two more smaller boats were secured, one of them named 'Cucapá 23' and the other unnamed, in addition to 37 kg of shrimp. Both boats were caught by surprise performing shrimping activities, using drift nets within the area of refuge for the Vaquita Marina.

Since since April 10 of 2015 there has been a suspension of fishing for smaller gill net boats, shoring or long lines, in a polygonal area which includes the reservation of the biosphere AGCyDRC and the refuge Area for the protection of the Vaquita Marina.

Finally, both legal arms of Maritime law secured three small boats which had no name and registration, one with an outboard motor. As in the previous case, the fishermen were using drift nets in the reserve of the biosphere AGCyDRC.

Also confiscated were 2,400 metres of gill nets as well as a total of 33 kg of shrimp, 5 chano fish, and a shrimp net with mesh size 2 3/4 inches.

It should be noted that the Government of the Republic, in order to validate the suspension of fishing, implemented a compensation program for fishermen, providing more than 500 million pesos per year, so these cases are considered irregular and illegal fishing.

The official statement concluded by declaring these actions by the government reaffirms its commitment to the conservation and protection of the Vaquita Marina, the Totoaba and their habitat, as well as other species in areas with fishing restrictions. , participating coordinated and permanently in the programme of comprehensive care to the upper Gulf of California.