The World Trade Organization has recognized Mexico for a responsible fishing industry. This year, Mexico’s Environmental Defense Fund (EDF of Mexico), unveiled the study Fisheries and Ocean Economy: Sustainability and profitability, where they position Mexico in 20th place for its potential in the worldwide fishing industry.
To carry out this study they used data from 28 of the most important fisheries in Mexico, which was only used as evidence to demonstrate that the fishing sector in Mexico still has much to grow in the coming years.
The growth rates of the human population have managed to exceed the growth of the cattle, swine and poultry industries, which means that fishing is rising day by day as a vital source of protein for the world’s food.
The fishing industry is also a major source of direct and indirect employment for over 2 million Mexicans. The nation currently provides 1 million 753 thousand tons of highly nutritious protein per year, which is why it is important to find ways to keep this industry active and rising.
According to the study, Mexico still has great potential for growth; however, it should take a more sustainable fishing approach, while simultaneously battling against illegal fishing and find ways to fight it off. If it’s carried out as such, in 20 years Mexico could be earning $211 million dollars more than it already is, year after year. Additionally we could have 70% more fish in the water while increasing fishing products by 24%; thus ensuring more jobs, more income and more food.
To achieve this system, the proposal involves the use of scientific and economic tools, and the aim is that each fisherman may be assigned to a specific amount, so as to allow regeneration of these resources.
This rights-based management has already been successfully tested in more than 350 fisheries in the world and in Mexico, it’s a system that applies to fishing for spiny lobster, abalone and olive ridley corvina, among others, that generate significant economic, social and biological benefits.
Mexico can get more fisheries to benefit from this system, but this requires more investment in science, monitoring, surveillance, compliance, quality and added value; qualities necessary for there to be a sustainable and profitable fishery.
This year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) announced that more than 3 billion pesos will be invested in the fishing and aquaculture sector during 2016, in order to boost aquaculture nationally, and globally and consolidate a productive, competitive and sustainable activity.
Mexico has the potential to become a world reference in this sector, and thus transform fishing in a key part of the economy.
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