Tools for the conservation and fishery management of hake fishing in the Gulf of California

Gulf of California Rocky Reef

Sustainable Fisheries

OBJECTIVE: To design a management model based on the right to industrial fishery of hake in the Midriff Island Region. (Closed project)

In the North Pacific, hake (Merluccius productus) is the most abundant commercial species off the coast of California, Oregon, Washington (USA) and British Columbia (Canada). It is regularly caught by industrial pelagic trawlers. This fishery was declared to be overfished by the American government in 2002. The area’s recovery was documented a couple of years later.

Since 1976, this fishery has been studied in the Pacific Coast of Baja California region in Mexico. Over 40 years later, its fishery continues being an unfamiliar activity under development within the Gulf of California by the industrial fleet from Sonora and Baja California. To date, the fishery does not have management tools to ensure sustainable development.

In 2012, COBI was invited by the Environmental Defense Fund-Mexico to collaborate on this project in three ways:

– Exchange experiences and lessons with producers, researchers and managers about organization, science, collaboration, fishery techniques, management, and markets.

– Create a committee to support the organization and responsible management of hake.

– Implement a three-year program of observers onboard, to quantify the catch of the target species and its accidental capture, to monitor the activity areas of the Sonora and Baja California fleets, and to register the fishery techniques employed.

Today, COBI’s intervention has been completed successfully, and the Environmental Defense Fund-Mexico continues working on the implementation of an improvement plan for the fishery alongside the producers.

  • 3 seasons of observers onboard carried out
  • 1 committee to support responsible fishery
  • 1 international exchange
  • Comité Consultivo de Manejo Pesquero de la Merluza
  • Comisión Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca
  • Environmental Defense Fund Mexico
  • Productores de Merluza Puerto Peñasco
Francisco Fernández

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