With just three months into the 2020-21 shrimp season, the annual search for “pink gold” is not going well for Puerto Peñasco.
The fishing embargo in the Upper Gulf of California, detailed Mateo López León of the Upper Gulf of California Shipowners Federation, along with the high cost of diesel, has led to a reduced number of boats going out and lower production overall. In addition, not being able to export blue shrimp caught in the Upper Gulf has hampered ships from Puerto Peñasco from working in that area.
López León explained only 60% of the 100 boats authorized at the beginning of the season have even gone out. By December, due to lack of profitability, 80% of the boats were tied up at the docks with only a minimum of those out dedicated to shrimp captures.
While exact production numbers to date aren’t yet available, undoubtedly there has been a notable decrease in yields, he stated.
López León lamented the Federal government’s lack of response in creating favorable conditions for productive activities. He added it is urgent the Federal Government intervene, as the latent risk of a general embargo on shrimp and other fish in the region would directly affect fishing in Puerto Peñasco and fisheries across Mexico.
The chair of the Upper Gulf Shipowners Federation reiterated vessels from Puerto Peñasco, and Sonora in general, comply with all fishing and ecology regulations in fully adhering to environmental programs in the Upper Gulf of California, including protection of the endangered vaquita marina. In light of this, poor shrimp yields this season further stem from illegal actions and corruption that prevails in the vaquita refuge.