Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common ground for ecosystems and fishing in Northwest Mexico

Date:
January 27, 2011
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Researchers have completed a new study on the geography of commercial fisheries in Northwest Mexico and the results could have far-ranging implications for the sustainable future of marine wildlife in the area.

Scripps researchers propose five sub-regions in Northwest Mexico.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - San Diego

Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have completed a new study on the geography of commercial fisheries in Northwest Mexico and the results could have far-ranging implications for the sustainable future of marine wildlife in the area.

Related Articles


The scientists, led by Scripps postdoctoral researcher Brad Erisman, analyzed data from local fisheries offices around the region that includes Baja California as well as Gulf of California coasts from Sonora south to Nayarit. The region accounts for more than 60 percent of fishing production in Mexico.

The scientists' goal was to detect any patterns between the geography of the species and their habitats in Northwest Mexico, and the localized fishing information revealed in the data. After poring over the data the researchers found clear-cut overlapping patterns in their analysis and used the results to create a new map proposing five clearly defined fishery sub-regions around Northwest Mexico.

While fisheries resources in Northwest Mexico are currently managed as one homogeneous area, the researchers' proposed sub-regions differentiate between areas rich in mangroves versus rocky shores, reefs versus soft sea bottoms, as well as temperate versus tropical regions, and geological features distinguishing west and east.

Such sub-regions, the researchers say, could be crucial for implementing specific, customized fishing and conservation practices, including so-called "ecosystem-based management" approaches in each region.

The map and results of the study were published in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea's (ICES) Journal of Marine Science.

"We found a strong connection between geographic location of the major habitats of the region and the organization of the fishing activities in terms of what is being caught, whether it's clams, sharks or shrimp," said Erisman. "So this gives us a framework to operate both fisheries management and conservation priorities within the same region and on the same spatial scale, thus meeting criteria for maintaining healthy ecosystems and also for maintaining economic livelihoods and productive fisheries."

Erisman, Scripps postdoctoral researcher Octavio Aburto-Oropeza and their colleagues worked with landing records provided by Mexico's National Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission (CONAPESCA) and conduct detailed field surveys in the Gulf of California, spending several weeks in each expedition diving to document species and habitats and to speak with local fishermen about their practices.

Aburto-Oropeza says the data used in the study shed light on the economic importance of artisanal fishing practiced out of thousands of small panga boats in Northwest Mexico.

"Right now everything is managed the same way, with the idea of the largest-scale industrial fisheries of squid, tuna, shrimp and sardine," said Aburto-Oropeza. "But this study is showing that the small-scale fisheries and their landings of valuable species such as red snapper and snooks are very important. The management of the different regions in Northwest Mexico should be very different."

The sub-regions proposed by this study allow for the implementation of different management agendas such as networks of marine reserves and fisheries management plans.

For the idea to be effective, however, the researchers argue that large-scale industrial fishing activities that transect throughout Northwest Mexico would have to be curtailed. They also say the idea of customized sub-regions bolstering ecosystem-based management efforts could be applied in other areas of the world threatened by shrinking fisheries resources.

In addition to Erisman and Aburto-Oropeza, coauthors of the paper include Gustavo Paredes and Philip Hastings of Scripps Oceanography and Tomas Plomozo-Lugo and Juan Cota-Nieto of the Centro para la Biodiversidad Marina y la Conservaciσn in La Paz.

The research was supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Common ground for ecosystems and fishing in Northwest Mexico." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127131113.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2011, January 27). Common ground for ecosystems and fishing in Northwest Mexico. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127131113.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Common ground for ecosystems and fishing in Northwest Mexico." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127131113.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) — A new species of fish is discovered living five miles beneath the ocean surface, making it the deepest living fish on earth. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins