Mexico considered opening Dorado to commercial fishing

A federal amendment under consideration in Mexico City would remove Dorado off the list of fish exclusively reserved for sportfishing.

MEXICO CITY—The Mexican legislature spent portions of 2019 and 2020 considering a proposal to amend its federal fishing laws to allow for commercial catches of Dorado (mahi mahi).

Mexico’s “General Law of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture” currently limits Dorado catches to recreational fishing trips. The potential opening of the Dorado fishery to commercial interests, however, is stressing out recreational fishing interests in Baja California Sur.

Sources in Cabo San Lucas and La Paz reached out to The Log and FishRap in January and February, off the record, to express their concern of the amendment proposal that had been circulating in Mexico City, which is the Mexican capital.

Article 68 of the General Law of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture states: “The species called marlin, sailfish, swordfish, shad or chiro, rooster and goldfish, in all their biological varieties, are exclusively destined for sport-recreational fishing, within a range of fifty nautical miles, counted from the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured.”

“Fishing activities other than research activities may not be carried out on the species destined for sport-recreational fishing in the reproduction areas established by the Secretariat through regulatory provisions,” the section continues.

The Log and FishRap is reaching out to sources in Mexico to determine the most up-to-date status of the proposal. A recent post on Facebook by a sportfishing association, however, indicated the move to update the General Law of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture to allow commercial fishing of Dorado might have been stopped, at least for now.

“This species is reserved for sportfishing activity, which millions of families depend nationwide,” an official statement on the Asociacion Estatal de Pesca Deportiva de Nayarit AC Facebook page said. “We share that the first step was already taken, the federal deputy Claudia Yáñez Centeno responsible for the commission of fishing … stopped … modification of reform to Art. 68 of the General Fisheries and Aquaculture Act.

“The State Sports Fisheries Association in Nayarit applauds the Legislators’ decision,” the Facebook post continued.

Nayarit is a state in Western Mexico, located below the state where Mazatlan calls home.

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