Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s decision to not restore fuel subsidies for fishing fleets, along with lack of progress on ending a U.S. fishing embargo specifically impacting the Upper Gulf of California, exacerbates the severe crisis Puerto Peñasco’s fishermen have been facing since March, stated Mateo López León, representative of the Shipbuilders Federation for the Upper Gulf of California.
López León regrets the federal government’s lack of attention to the serious problem of profit loss and impact of the fishing embargo in the Upper Gulf of California. These concerns mean 80% of Puerto Peñaco’s production will not be exportable to the U.S., which is its main market.
He stressed the current situation is unsustainable for the 130 boats in Puerto Peñasco’s fleet, not due to a lack of fisheries but rather operation costs that are already in the red. This may result in several boats not going out once the shrimp season fully begins on September 29th.
The U.S. fishing embargo, which has been in place since August 2018 as a measure to preserve the endangered vaquita marina, now extends beyond the Upper Gulf of California Biosphere Reserve to encompass the restricted area of Puerto Lobos and Puertecitos, severely harming Puerto Peñasco’s fishing industry.