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IGFA Fights to Preserve Mexican Dorado
by Jim Hendricks

According to a news report I received from Gary Graham, representative-at-large in Baja California, Mexico, for the International Game Fish Association, the Mexican Congress has been conducting forums throughout Mexico and Baja for the past two years, seeking input from the sport-fishing and commercial industry on the feasibility of removing dorado (aka mahimahi) from the list of species “reserved exclusively for sport fishing.” The passing of this initiative would allow commercial fishing of dorado, according to Graham’s report.

In a surprise move, a forum was convened last week in Tapachula, Chiapas, says Graham. Minerva Saenz (IGFA representative in Los Cabos) and others responded to the last-minute call for testimony. “They traveled more than 2,000 miles at great personal expense to once again voice the sport-fishing industy’s opposition to any action that would allow the taking of more dorado for commercial purposes,” Graham said. Graham quoted Saenz as saying, “The meeting was the most powerful of the six that I have attended. The government officials were impressed and seemed to be very receptive to our objections and recommendations.”

Presidents of various commercial-fishing associations attended to encourage the passing of this initiative, which would result in dorado being commercialized. 

A number of Mexican sport-fishing organizations were represented, including the local Asociacion de Pesca Deportiva of Chiapas, as well as the IGFA, according to Graham. Sport fishing points of concern included: 

  • Lack of biological studies confirming whether or not the dorado population could sustain commercialization.
  • The illegal exportation of dorado is a flagrant violation of Mexican laws.
  • Commercialization of dorado is not a sustainable economic solution for local fishermen.

“The dorado defenders who made the effort to attend all of the six public forums are to be commended for their ongoing passion and commitment to sport fishing in Mexico,” said Graham.