Almost half of the fish species commonly eaten by Mexicans are in “serious decline” and could disappear completely, according to the ocean conservation organization Oceana.
“The experts have determined that [stocks of] 43% of fished species … are diminished due to overexploitation, damage to ecosystems, contamination and illegal fishing,” said the organization’s fisheries campaign director while presenting the results of a new fisheries audit conducted by Oceana in Mexico.
“The reality is that four of 10 [species] are in serious … decline and there are no actions being undertaken for their recovery,” Esteban García-Peña said.
Among the threatened species are red snapper and grouper. García-Peña placed the bulk of the blame for the situation on the authorities, saying that there is an “absence of management and restoration of species” on their part.
“Recovering them is urgent, if we don’t what are we going to live on?” he said.
García-Peña said that Oceana’s audit found that only one in four fisheries has a management plan and that fisherman have to go farther out to sea due to their depletion.
“They risk their lives,” he said, adding that 2019 was the worst year on record for grouper catches.
The Oceana director said that fishermen’s livelihoods are at risk if the government doesn’t better manage the nation’s fisheries. Stocks are so depleted in some areas that many fishermen choose to stay at home rather than spend money they can’t recoup on fuel, García-Peña said.
“How can [the problem] be solved? With a [fisheries] restoration policy,” he said.
Source: Milenio (sp)