SeaWatch
3939 N. Marine Drive, Slip 12
Portland, Oregon 97217

There are still nets every night on the shallow reefs 10' to 20' deep, just outside La Paz on the way to San Juan de La Costa. Their mesh size is 12" to 15". Fishermen say they are shark nets. What do you think? They are put out at night and brought in very early in the morning. We have night dived these nets and released several turtles and never seen a shark. If one wanted turtle soup, no problem. One could go to several restaurants that served it right here in La Paz. With this back of management and enforcement, all species are rapidly going the way of the sea turtle.

The same thing is going to happen to the Vaquita and the Totoaba. The new master plan for the northern gulf still allows nets of 4" mesh or less. Be assured this is the perfect size for juvenile Totoaba and if nets are allowed in the area how is anyone going to know who has the right mesh, then inspect them all, all the time? The only way to stop netting Vaquita and Totoaba is to stop putting any nets in the water.

The 1000 boat Sea of CortÚs shrimp fleet (or less, because they have decimated their fishery) is still relentlessly scraping the bottom of the sea. Only now with the shrimp fishery collapsing, the shrimp are becoming a by-product and the target is the tons of small bottom fish that come up in the trawl nets. We saw shrimpers unloading tons of small sharks, trigger fish, etc. The average shrimp catch around Bahia Gonzaga in April of 1993 was 4-5 kilos/hour of trawl time. These fleets will keep fishing until there is nothing left on the bottom of the Sea. They are also not respecting the closing of the shrimp season. There were 5 shrimpers working in Bahia Santa Inez on the sixth of May 1993, after the season closed. It is my guess that since they are targeting all bottom life, they will start fishing year-around, calling themselves trawlers and not shrimpers. It is painfully obvious that there is no enforcement of existing laws.

SeaWatch is utilizing the World Wide Web as a fast and accurate way to
report on destructive fishing practices in the Sea of CortÚs.


http://www.seawatchbcs.com/Nets.htm