Illegal encerradores continue to destroy the reefs of Espiritu Santo

Espritu Santo Island,  a World Heritage Site, a Marine Protected Area and a Biosphere. You might think that would give the Island some protection against Illegal fishing. Think again, those designations  are exactly what the illegal fishing community wants, as it makes it a private fishing ground for Illegal fishing with little competition. This will always be the case without vigilance and enforcement. The money spent over the years in Mexico making marine parks is wasted without vigilance and enforcement.

Last week on June 27th a Sea Watch observer saw this in one of the beautiful bays called Embudo next to the nuclear zone at Los Islotes. NOTE: This boat was caught again by Conapesca encerrando with hookah in October of 2015 near Pilot Rock on Espiritu Santo Island.

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  1. Vince Vince
    July 26, 2015    

    Just out of curiosity MIke when you guys see this kind of stuff do you make a formal denuncia online with Profepa or Conapesca or even Conamp?

    • July 26, 2015    

      Hi Vince:

      OC used to file more complaints, now I send them the information as soon as I can and I am not sure what they do with it anymore to be honest with you. Please contact Beto the director of OC (ROC) directly. Contact info below. I think there is a burnout factor there also. How many times can you file denuncias and not have the authorities act on them before you burn out. There are at least 10-15 denuncias filed by OC and hand carried to the authorities with no action and no results on them for a year or more. The authorities just say they can’t discuss open investigations when questioned, that is if they say anything. There is a resistance on OC (ROC’s ) part to create any bad will with the authorities and they haven’t yet got a plan to communicate with the public and get the public to put pressure on the authorities to do their job. We are going to pick up some of that slack in communicating with the public.

      Alberto Guillén Guadarrama
      Cel. 16121023294
      Skype: superbeto.guillen
      Canal 16 de VHF, banda marina
      Twiter: @oclapaz

  2. July 26, 2015    

    Vince, here is another thing of interest. We helped start OC in 2009. Here it is 2015 and they (we) can’t tell you for sure if it is illegal to Encerrar (seine) fish with nets. Sea Watch’s director at the time Maria Ugarte has gotten (sponsored and gotten approval and publication) of a new regulation (january 2015) in Norma 064 that “outlaws using any compressed air to extract fish” in all Mexican waters including rivers and lakes. That made the Encerradores and Pistoleros illegal in all Mexican waters. (Barren Reefs) Now the question becomes can they encerrar free diving. That is what they say they are doing but they aren’t. You can’t get the job done freediving. They have a boat with a compressor and a pepino permit with them and they work together from 2 boats. The hookah divers can say they are looking for pepinos and these other guys just put active nets next to them. CICESE scientists in La Paz say all net’s have to be passive. You cannot move the net nor drive fish into them. Both techniques (illegal) are used by encerradores. IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE A CONAPESCA MAZATLAN INTERPRETATION ON THAT. SEA WATCH WILL FOLLOWUP.

    • Vince Vince
      July 26, 2015    

      Thanks for that info Mike I will get in touch with Beto. With the new transparency laws out there supposedly government officials must reply to your requests for information in a timely manner. Also it is very easy to make a denuncia online. Friends of mine at Conapesca have urged me to make denuncias online as often as possible. You get a numero de folio on the denuncia and of course at that point you are officially on the books in the system and then you can endlessly follow up. I can see in the future hiring a full time staff member whose job description will include following up on all the denuncias we are going to make down here.

      Also a good friend of mine in Loreto turned me on to this site.

      She had many issues with local government officials not giving her accurate information and taking care of tramites. She got on the phone with that group above and was able to get things moving. I believe the office is in Mexico City and those she spoke to were very interested in helping so much so that she was once on the phone with them while they were on the phone with local Loreto officials having a conference call!

      Also Conapesca nor Fonmar could never give her a straight answer on if you needed a fishing permit for someone under the age of 18 while on a fishing charter. This organization gave her a definitive answer which she printed up as I recall and now takes onboard the charter vessels if a Conapesca or Fonmar inspector should try to hassel their charter captain over the issue of minors fishing on a charter. I have not used this agency yet but am planning on it.

      Perhaps we should pose those very good questions you have on fishing law to these guys and see what they say!

  3. Pamela Pamela
    July 29, 2015    

    CONANP vigilance = “bother tourists and service providers to make sure they have their derechos de uso paid”
    Seriously, many fishermen have complained while violations were taking place inside our marine protected area and what does CONANP do? If they even go on the water to investigate, they’ll go out of their way, physically passing the same violators that the complaint is about, only to bother the fishing tourists and make sure they have marine park bracelets paid. Here’s another one: last february a baby humpback was caught in a gillnet. Many boats called in to report it and described the well known named location where this poor animal was. I saw the tangled baby whale with its mother helplessly nearby and we waited for over an hour. I was afraid to disentangle the whale because we are not experienced at doing this nor do we have the proper equipment. Also I was afraid that when the CONANP boat arrived we’d get in trouble for trying to save it. But we waited and waited for CONANP who was called and informed but never came. A few fishermen physically went into the office to report the entanglement after calling on their radios after they had arrived back at port. The entanglement location was a well known and named area and it would have taken 20 minutes for a boat to get there from port. Marine park authorities never found the whale because they took several hours to get a boat in the water and then they passed by the reported area and went way south to another island to look. WHY???
    Also sad to hear the following about Waterkeeper- “there is a resistance on OC (ROC’s ) part to create any bad will with the authorities” …because this is exactly what needs to happen! We the citizens have to hold the authorities responsible for doing their job (that we entrust and pay them to do) to enforce the law, and we need to call them on it when they don’t. No bad will, just responsible alert citizenry. These “collaborations” only serve to fund useless programs but they do not help the people. Sad to see the brave waterekeepers that I met become part of a corporate run top-down organization used by the 1% to justify their tax free foundations and loopholes as they privitize the commons.
    Don’t count on conanp to protect ANP’s FOR us, they are really protecting them FROM us because these pristine nature reserve areas really aren’t our’s anymore. Good luck with Espiritu Santo.

  4. August 9, 2015    

    Vince: I appreciate your helping with asking the legal department of Conapesca their take on encerrando, rodeando, pasteando fish.

    This is what Pedro Sierra a “go to” Crips scientist said about the encerradores and about net’s on reefs (see below). To me his logic is odd about why you shouldn’t put nets on reefs, but end results are correct. His logic also seems a bit strange to me on why rodear fish is illegal but again the end result is correct. This is the real question for Conapesca. It is now absolutely illegal to use compressed air to capture fish in all Mexico as per the new Norma 064 published in 2015. The question now is, is it legal to use active nets and active divers in the water to surround and drive fish (pastorear)into the nets. According to scientist Pedro Sierra from Crips, absolutely not. What does Conapesca Mazatlan have to say about that. Again I might give them the link Barren Reefs in Spanish which shows the process of (rodear and pastorear) with hookah and what we want to know is it legal without hookah (free diving) which is what the fishermen in this video claim Does this give you the information you need to frame the question to Conapesca legal department



    Begin forwarded message:

    From: Alberto Guillén Guadarrama
    Subject: …con Pedro S.
    Date: December 8, 2011 at 8:03:34 AM PST
    To: Alejandra NOS , Mike Macggetigan

    Ale: Si no me equivoco esta fue mi percepcion !!

    Los permisos de pesca, que hacen uso de redes dicen que “no podran poner las redes arriba de los arrcifes”, pero segun Pedro Sierra, en realidad incluye sobre y al rededor de, y nos dice que “definitivamente esta prohibhido”, aunque la forma en que esta expresado em la ley es ambigua o podria no estar muy clara para un sector, su idea es que ese hueco se puede y se debe cubrir con el plan de manejo de ES. Para que asi la CONANP cubra esa necesidad de que puedan ser protegidos los arrecifes.

    Por otra parte Pedro Sierra dice que se deberian programar reunioes con la CONNP, para relizar disenos experimentales incluyendo a los pescadores para saber si se puede determinar una dstancia metrica en tre los arrecifes y las redes. Ya que esto no esta definido cientificamente, legalmente.

    Dice que las redes deben estar fuera de los arrecifes porque se quedan pegadas o atoradas y estaran muriendo peces sin ser aprovechados, mas no por el riesgo de que mueran peces de alguna especie en particular que pueda poner en riesgo los arrecifes, (pero esto es porque no lo saben , no porque no ocurra) ya que al respecto no hay ningun estudio previo.

    Con respecto el encierro, la redes (chinchorros) son el arte de pesca, el encierro es el metodo. La redes deben trabajan de forma pasiva, no se puede encerrar, no se pueden “pastorear” los peces hacia las redes, ni hacer uso de compresores de aire, ya que esto requeriria una cuota especifica, Por lo tanto el encierro en cualquiera de sus modalidades tambien esta prohibido.

    Alberto Guillen Guadarrama
    Coordinador Técnico Observatorio Ciudadano
    Telcel. 6121023294, Movicel: 6121480074

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  1. The marine park at Espiritu Santo Island and Los Islotes – in big trouble | SeaWatch on October 23, 2015 at 11:41 am

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