Managing the Impacts of Human Activities on Fish Habitat: The Governance, Practices, and Science

Mexican Fisheries: Their Management and Administration to Regulate Impacts of Fishing Activities on Fish Habitat

Raúl Villaseñor and Felipe Amezcua


Abstract.—Mexico is an important producer of fish resources, contributing 1.5% to the total world production. However, most of the fisheries are overexploited or fished to the maximum sustainable level as a result of problems such as overexploitation, poor infrastructure, poaching, limited knowledge of fishing laws, high discard rates, weak fisheries institutions, and little ability to research and manage these difficulties. To solve these problems, the National Program of Fisheries and Aquaculture was established in order to achieve sustainability in Mexican fisheries with the participation of the government, the fishing industry and research institutions. The program has been implemented for the 22 main fisheries of the country, notably the tuna, shrimp and shark fisheries, for which technical measures have been implemented for controlling the catch, the effort and the impact on coexisting species. Specifically, these measures have been aimed at reducing the bycatch of marine mammals and turtles, demersal and benthopelagic fishes and benthic invertebrates. Also, measures have been implemented to mitigate impacts of fishing gear on the benthos and coral reefs. However, many issues still need to be resolved both for these and other lower revenue fisheries, which are important in terms of their effect on ecosystems.