Mexican Fishing Industry

By: Mexican Embassy in Australia

Mexico is the 4th most important fishing country in the Americas and occupies the 17th place of fishing production worldwide. Mexico´s has privileged climatic and territorial conditions, that converge to produce a great variety of fishes, crustaceans and molluscs.

The most representative species for the amount of income they generate in Mexico are: tuna, crappie (mojarra) and shrimp. Fishing for tuna and shrimp occurs in almost all states that have seacoasts. The mojarra is fished in practically all the country because it can be cultivated in fresh water estuaries and ponds.

Other important products of Mexican waters are sardine, octopus, lobster, yellowfin tuna, bass, red snaper and oyster, as well as other forty species of smaller production.

Fishing in rivers, lakes, lagoons, dams and estuaries is minor but of great value for some regions of Mexico for its food and economic contribution. In these bodies of water, fish or other aquatic organisms such as trout, bass, catfish and different types of shrimp are usually produced in aquaculture, an activity that stands out in Veracruz, Hidalgo, Sonora, Sinaloa and Tabasco. Shrimp, for instance, is mainly produced in this environment, representing 70 % of total shrimp production.

Mexico is divided into the following five large fishing regions:

Region I: It comprises the states in the Baja California peninsula and Sonora and Sinaloa. It is the most important fishing region of the country and it includes, among other species, tuna, squid, shrimp, lobster, lisa, anchoveta, sea cucumber, sagazo and sardine.

Region II: It extends from the state of Nayarit to Chiapas, including Jalisco, Colima, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Michoacán. The production of this zone includes the following species: tuna, skipjack, carp, snaper and mojarra.

Region III: It includes the states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz and is the second most important region of the country; oyster, mojarra, crab and shrimp are obtained in Tamaulipas.

Region IV: It includes the states of Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo, oyster, mojarra, shark, octopus and dogfish are the principal produce.

Region V: It is composed of all the federal entities that are not on the seaside, since aquaculture is practiced in rivers, lakes, dams, canals or ponds. Thanks to this activity, tents, mojarras, trout, catfish and charales are obtained, among other freshwater species. Through aquaculture some saltwater species such as shrimp and lobster are also obtained.

During the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, public policies and actions have been implemented to detonate the sustainable development of national fisheries, to produce food with high protein value and easy access for the population, and to boost the dynamic growth of the country.

The expansion of the fishing sector has been based on five strategic principles of aquaculture and fisheries policy (integral ordering; compliance and regulatory enforcement; impulse to fishery and aquaculture capitalization; strategic development of aquaculture, and promotion of consumption of fishery products). This has allowed Mexico to take advantage of the potential offered by the seas and inland waters.

The wealth of Mexico´s marine and aquaculture resources is in 11,592 kilometers of coastlines in the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea; 12,500 square kilometers of coastal and marine systems, six thousand 500 square kilometers of internal waters (lakes, lagoons, dams and rivers) and an Exclusive Economic Zone of patrimonial sea of three thousand 149 square kilometers.