Local Fishery and Aquaculture Committee in Puerto Libertad, Sonora

Gulf of California Rocky Reef

Sustainable Fisheries

Capacity-building of Leaders and Fishing Organizations

OBJECTIVE: To achieve the sustainable management of fishery and aquatic resources in Puerto Libertad in partnership with fishers, academics and civil society organizations.

Fisheries in Mexico are an important source of food, employment and income, and they are crucial to the sociocultural identity of our coastal communities. Approximately 41% of the Mexican population lives in coastal communities that largely depend on this activity. There are around 350,000 coastal fishers and they contribute to 40% of total domestic production. Traditionally, coastal fishers join cooperatives, which also are members of federations and confederations.

Community management committees are in charge of some resources and fishing sites, and address local needs and situations. At COBI, we define committees as groups formed by marine resource users (mainly fishers), enterprises (mostly in the tourism sector), civil society organizations, academics and government officials working together for the common good when it comes to marine conservation and/or sustainable fishery. Essentially, these are spaces for dialogue, decision-making and collaboration to strengthen citizen participation. For these committees to be successful in the medium- and long-term, it is important to formalize and empower them.

In 2012, a committee in Puerto Libertad, Sonora was formed after years of collective efforts by fishers, government and civil society organizations. They identified management objectives for the zone of Puerto Libertad, taking into account the interests, concerns, and fundamental values of everyone involved. Their first priorities were good governance of the fishery and aquatic resources, and surveillance targets.

The Committee was created with the support of the Civic Collaboration Center. Its objectives are: 1) Obtain better economic benefits through diversification of activities and production of commercial species; 2) Increase social well-being through equal benefits and distribution permits; and 3) Reduce harm to species and habitat through cooperation between the government and producers, and surveillance of the area by both government and producers.

  • 8 commercial species
  • 2 sustainable artisanal fisheries: chocolata and red clam (Megapitaria sqalida and Cytherea chione) and amberjack yellowtail (Seriola lalandi)
  • 1 culture experiment of Gulf corvina (Cynoscion othonopterus)
  • +10 members from different sectors
  • 1 fishery refuge zone presented to the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fishing
  • Centro de Colaboración Cívica
  • Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo de Guaymas
  • Centro Regional de Investigación Pesquera y Acuícola de Guaymas
  • Comisión Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca
  • Cooperativas, pescadores libres, y permisionarios de Puerto Libertad
  • CRIPA de Salina Cruz
  • CRIPA de Bahía Banderas
  • Environmental Defense Fund de México
  • Grupo de Monitoreo Submarino de Puerto Libertad
  • Grupo de Monitoreo Submarino y Análisis de Cambio Climático
  • Instituto Nacional de Pesca
  • Subsecretaría de Pesca y Acuacultura del Gobierno del Estado de Sonora
María José Espinosa



This project is constantly evolving, and your support is key to making an impact on marine conservation and sustainable fishery. The following list details our current project needs. You can also donate directly to COBI by contacting our donations team: donations@cobi.org.mx. Let’s all do our part!

  • Media interested in highlighting the Committee’s work
  • Donations and funding to support the Committee
  • Volunteers with relevant knowledge, skills, or experience
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