el Dorado …a fish made of GOLD!

For more than twenty years now I have been fishing Baja and am always amazed at how diverse and abundant the waters are that surround the Magnificent Peninsula. The fishing continues to bring in record size fish each year despite some unbelievable pressure from commercial fishing interests. Don’t get me wrong I am NOT against commercial fishing per se but would like to see the enforcement of the rule of Law concerning sportfish in Mexican waters. There is, as is many times the case, a “loophole” in the Law concerning fish reserved for sportfishing. BTW those fish reserved for sportfishing are all the Billfish (Marlin, Sailfish and Swordfish), Wahoo, Tuna, Roosterfish and of course Dorado (also known to many of you as Mahi Mahi or Dolphin fish). The loophole, called NOM 029 or “Shark Norma”  allows commercial fisherman to keep one Dorado for every 10 sharks they catch as “by catch” or an incidental catch and sell them commercially.  The problem is this, there are only 5 inspectors for all of Baja, a two day notice of inspection must be given to examine a vessel and no records of the shark catches are routinely kept!!! The Dorado “by catch” is sold from Pangeros to larger commercial interests and is exported to the USA as “unspecified” species.  I’ve heard that if you are eating Mahi Mahi at a restaurant in the US it has an 80% chance of having come illegally from the Sea of Cortez!  This fish is worth 10X the amount sold as food as a sportfish in Baja but a few are making themselves rich with what will be a devastating blow to the economy of Baja.  The Billfish Foundation equates sportfishing to have a $1.15 billion annual impact on Southern Baja alone.  That is NOT a misprint …Billion with a “B”!  Please watch the video below to see an excellent documentary from Vince Radice and Thalassa France TV3 who graciously  made the film possible!  Thank you!

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  1. Yes, D, there’s a loophole down here …it’s called #mordida: “how much?”

  2. the “bite” this is a HUGE problem but it WILL kill the Sea of Cortez and Baja’s great fishery at some point! too bad!

  3. Keeping dorado off the table has been an ongoing battle for
    Minerva Saenz, the IGFA, and the Sportfishing Industry in Mexico.



  4. Thanks Gary! Hopefully with Fish the Baja on national TV we will have a greater voice!!!

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