Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Help Save the Sea of Cortez & Overturn NOM-029

The fight to stop over-fishing in the Sea of Cortez has an extensive history. In October 2002 the Mexican Senate, with support from then president Vicente Fox, cancelled NOM-029-PESCA-2006, also known as Shark NORMA. Sea Watch and other environmental organizations had spent over $60,000 U.S to fight it.

Their victory turned into defeat May of 2007 when president Felipe Calderon passed a new NOM-029 into law. The reason? Commercial interests wanting the right to harvest more fish and make more money. Much of the demand for Baja fish comes overseas from Japan, where bluefin tuna can sell for as much as $45 a pound.

For a brief snapshot of the economic realities at play read the 2004 article Tuna Barons by The Fisherman's Voice.

A good article describing the basics of NOM-029 and the danger it poses to the health of all organisims that call the Sea of Cortez home is Marine Life Threatened in Sea of Cortez at ESPN.com

The Billfish Foundation, and their partners in Mexico, have retained an attorney and begun a series of legal procedures to fight for the modification of NOM-029 and to stop destructive fishing practices. The process and an outline of current actions taken by TBF are described in their online article, Mexican Senate Confronts Shark Norma Negotiations.

Help stop destructive fishing practices and protect the future of the Sea of Cortez.

The International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) and other conservation organizations such as Sea Watch and The Billfish Foundation ask that you demand that NOM-029 be suspended until the following modifications are included:

** Prohibit commercial fishing in the 50 mile protected zones
** Address bycatch so that game fish may not be incidentally targeted and sold
** Regionalize fishing permits to evenly distribute fishing effort
** Vigilant enforcement of commercial vessels by the Armada de Mexico
** Stock assessment and catch and effort data be utilized in making management decisions

This information is included in the online article New Regulations in Mexico Threaten Marine Life in Sea of Cortez on the IGFA website. They have posted a link to an automated email system. Click on each politician's name, type in your full name and click 'submit'.

A pre-formed letter outlining the reasons NOM-029 should be overturned or amended is then sent to the politician in your name. A simple and easy way to have your opinion heard.

I will contact the above organizations by email, and ask to be informed if any new developments occur so that I can post a blog entry about it. Every little bit counts.

Molly, author of Viva La Baja! Relocation Guide to the Baja California Peninsula


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Molly McHugh said...

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