Mexico

Empowering fisheries for a more sustainable future

In Mexico, more than 2 million people depend on fishing for a living (both directly and indirectly). Most of them belong to small-scale fishing communities that produce food for the millions of Mexicans who rely on fish as a source of protein.

With an annual production of over 1,750,000 MT of fish, Mexico is one of the largest (17th) seafood producers in the world. —Because of this, Mexico has the potential to become a leading example for other countries, showing how sustainable fishing can generate economic and social benefits for fishers and their families.

According to our research [PDF], reforming the fishing sector in Mexico could generate more than $211 billion USD in profits every year, and increase the amount of fish in the water by more than 70% in the next 20 years, compared to doing nothing.

To make the most of these benefits for Mexicans and for the ocean, EDF is working in Mexico to promote science-based and participatory sustainable fisheries management.

We want to demonstrate that it’s possible to take care of the oceans and the people who depend on them. By doing this we can have more fish in the water, more food on the plate and more prosperous communities, both for Mexico and the world.

Our work in Mexico

Our vision is to position Mexico as a leading country in sustainable fishing, and to generate benefits for all Mexicans.

We have worked with fishermen, governmental agencies, buyers, scientists and other non-profit organizations since 2009 to transform fishing policies and practices toward more sustainable fishing.

To achieve that vision, we will focus on the following:

  • Supporting science: Producing data and funding scientific research for each region to get additional and improved information about fisheries in Mexico.
  • Participatory processes: It is often fishers who have the best solutions to the environmental challenges facing their fisheries. By including them in the management conversation, they are empowered to strengthen their participation on decision making processes, transforming them in to guardians of the ocean.
  • Fishing rights: Encouraging sustainable fisheries management plans through the promotion of long-term permits (fishing permits and concessions), and a regulatory framework that will support sustainable fishing options.
  • Finding solutions for a more efficient, responsible and productive sector: Using market analysis to increase the value of fisheries and make them more efficient, rather than taking a higher volume of fish out of the ocean. This will help Mexico support food security and the jobs of the millions of people who rely on fishing.
  • Partnerships: Exchanging knowledge, experiences and ideas with our partner organizations helps us design, implement and evaluate secure fishing rights programs that suit the needs of Mexican fisheries, while also conserving marine and coastal ecosystems.