Climate change and poaching pose lethal threat to local fishermen

(Photo: elfinanciero.com.mx)

MERIDA(Times Media Mexico).- Climate change has caused species like grouper, octopus and lobster to seek out suitable waters for their development, since the warming of the seas generates chemical changes that have a negative impact on the state as they move away from the Yucatan coast, said the associate vice president of EDF’s oceans program for Latin America, Laura Rodríguez Harker.

That is not all, she said that poaching also harms the local fishing sector, which could cause it to stop being one of the main economic activities of the entity.

“Climate change threatens the availability of fishing resources throughout Mexico and, consequently, the source of employment and high-quality food for Mexicans. If sustainable and adaptive management measures are not adopted soon, this will get worse,” he warned.

He explained that this situation occurs worldwide, since the increase of greenhouse gases affects the sea, as it changes its chemistry, which impacts the species, causing them to move to other waters to seek an appropriate temperature, this being one of the most notorious changes.

If the situation persists and national fishing and conservation policies are not changed to give a short-term boost to sustainable management strategies and practices on the Yucatan coast, there will be unexpected changes in the emblematic species, on which many communities depend economically.

“Grouper, octopus and sea cucumber, all these species can have a negative impact, but it is not known for sure what that change will be; hence the importance of research to better understand how to solve or apply other strategies, such as sustainable fishing management,” he said.

He said that in many forums there is talk about the economic impacts that climate change could have on communities, but “no one has done a reliable study of how many millions of pesos have been lost, this is part of what has to be done, because it is not being measured. It is a serious situation, since there are no solution measures to stop this from happening”.

He noted that the State is important not for the quantity of species it catches, but for the quality of these, so it is usually second or third in terms of production, depending on the season.

“Higher value species such as octopus and lobster reach high prices in major international markets, so the 12 ports and their communities depend on these fisheries, which aggravates the situation to the problems they have to face due to climate change,” he said.

One of the solutions proposed by Rodríguez Harker, through his organization, is to begin creating fishing committees, as well as research groups and networks.

He recalled that ” Yucatan already has a network of grouper and octopus researchers who are working and are concerned about the consequences that could be had on the species, so decisions are already being made about what to do in the future.

As if that wasn’t enough, illegal fishing aggravates the situation, because when “you have a negative impact with climate change and you add another problem, you are more vulnerable to the fishing sector and legal producers, so this issue should be of concern to all governments where it occurs”.

The Yucatan Times
Newsroom



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