Mexico/Baja Billfish update

Pez Gallo

On the hunt for grandes
Here's the latest on the struggle to stop longlining under Mexico's new "Shark Norma 0-29" law. I know this is a world away from salmon and sea runs in the Great Northwest but many Washington anglers make the trek to Baja in search of these amazing fish. Help if you can...

Fund to fight Mexico's Shark Norma

The Billfish Foundation has retained counsel to mount a legal battle along with political action aimed at freezing the regulation and ultimately stopping longlining within the 50 miles reserved for sportfishing in the Sea of Cortez and along the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Your tax deductible (U.S.) donations are ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for this plan to succeed. Please make donations payable to TBF, noting that the funds are for the Mexican Billfish Fund to restrict your donation to go directly to fight NOM-029. You can donate to the fund by calling 954-938-0150 ext. 106 or by donating online. (To make your donation online, please use the special donation section of our membership form and enter "Mexican Billfish Fund" in the comment section. Please note that the Membership Information section will be ignored for these special donations.)


Further action:
Another vessel seized - Nom029 fails again

On Sunday the Mexican Navy seized another apparently vessel fishing illegally under the cover of the new shark Nom-029. The 70 foot TELE, owned by the Pesquera Garcia Company and fishing out of Puerto Penasco, Sonora was taken into custody while fishing 30 miles off East Cape. The vessel, legally permitted, was fishing drift gill nets in excess of the 1000 meters allowed by Nom-029. Eighty-eight sharks, 43 marlin and as many as 20 giant manta rays were in the hold when it was seized. "Again we are seeing a real life example of the inherent flaws in Nom-029," said TBF's fisheries scientist Dr. Russell Nelson, "the billfish catch was the main money on this trip and the giant manta rays were slaughtered under a plan intended to protect sharks and rays in Mexico - we can only guess what is happening in other waters not currently benefiting from increased scrutiny by the Mexican Navy."

"TBF spent 5 years trying to convince the Mexican fisheries agency, Conapesca, that provisions contained in Nom-029 would fail to protect sharks and would place other marine resources at greatly increased risks," said TBF President Ellen Peel, "unfortunately it has now come to the point where litigation is our only course of action and as that process unfolds the waters off Baja California Sur are being pillaged by scofflaws