Pescadores Vigilantes – New Fisherman’s Watch Group Formed in Loreto
El Oro de Cortez is a documentary about illegal fishing in the Sea of Cortez. Through interviews with government officials, scientists and fisherman, we have documented thousands of tons of Dorado are illegally exported to the United States each year from the port city of Guaymas, Sonora Mexico. Also exposed in this documentary are the tremendous number of marine turtles, marlin, and sailfish that are shipped off to the black market each year due to the illegal commercial fishing practices that are decimating sportfish populations in the Sea of Cortez.
In Loreto, we will be showing the full length Spanish version of this film during our Pescadores Vigilantes meetings. The workshops began on September 14, 2009. We encourage English speaking readers of this site to view this film, pass it on and also encourage your Spanish speaking friends to view the Spanish versions of this film. All parts of the film are linked below in English and Spanish. We thank Minerva Saenz or Minerva's Baja Tackle in Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S. for her tireless support of this cause and for sending us the full length DVD.
Where is this boat from? It had legal permits for catching "squid" and was seen longlining within two miles of the shoreline from San Bruno to Isla Coronado, barely outside the Bay of Loreto Marine Park's northern boundary.
After seining just outside the Park boundary, this boat (photo above) anchored inside the white sand cove at Isla Coronado, a favorite place for swimmers and tourists. Here you can see how close it is to the shoreline. We are working to stop this kind of neglect and abuse of the fisheries that occurs barely outside the Park’s borders.
HOW CAN VISITORS AND LOCALS HELP MAKE SURE THAT THE MARINE PARK MANAGEMENT PLAN IS BEING ENFORCED?
Bring your digital camera onboard and photograph any illegal or perceived illegal incident you observe. We appreciate if you also send an email denouncing illegal activity within Loreto's Marine Park and outside its boundaries near the coastal zone. Despite what you may hear, your vigilance is extremely important to all of us in developing a comprehensive enforcement plan that leads to protection of the Park’s fragile marine resources.
HOW DO YOU REPORT ILLEGAL ACTIVITY IF YOU SEE IT?
There are two ways to make an anonymous report:
1) You may e-mail Pam Bolles directly at email@example.com or by phone us locally at 135-1603 or 044-613-111-7430 or
2) Contact the Eco-Alianza Loreto office at 613-135-1907 to make your report.
Please include any photos, descriptions, dates, and locations.
The Current Loreto Marine Park Management Plan prohibits netting within 300 meters of the shorelines of the islands of Carmen, Coronado, Danzante and Montserrate from April 1 through August 30. This is to protect key fish species such as yellowtail and cabrilla (seabass) during the spawning that occurs very close to the shorelines during this time. Catalina Island is an exception to this rule where yellowtail are not protected by net restrictions but cabrilla are. We are concerned that the netting process is not very selective so there must be some incidental catch of cabrilla during this period of restriction. At any rate, if you are out there fishing and see any illegal netting activity, please report it.
In addition to the seasonal net bans there are some no take zones within the marine park. If you see illegal fishing taking place in these areas, please report it.
Finally, large scale commercial trawling and shrimp harvesting is not permitted within the boundaries of the park. We often observe this kind of fishing taking place just outside the boundaries in the daytime. The new management plan proposes that the Park boundary be extended east to the former "50-mile sport fishing restricted zone" in addition to extending its northern and southern boundaries to include the entire coastline of the county of Loreto. That new boundary would extend just from just north of San Nicholas to about Timbabiche. There is concern about commercial activity taking place in the dark early morning and nighttime hours when there is no observation and thus, no enforcement. Also, small-scale but high-impact underwater spear fishing is a concern that is also being addressed. If you see or hear of any illegal activity of this kind, please report it.