GUATEMALAN MAHI-MAHI FISHERY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT STAKEHOLDERS MEETING

The past February 27, 2014, Sea Delight’s Sustainability Coordinator, Adriana Sanchez-Lindsay, attended a stakeholder’s meeting for Mahi-Mahi FIP in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

During this meeting, CeDePesca (Centre for Development and Sustainable Fisheries) presented the results of the Gap Analysis of the fishery against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fisheries, which was finalized in October 2013.

This analysis identified the following key issues:

  • Lack of catch/effort data for the small scale fleet
  • Lack of systematic information about interactions with ecosystem components
  • Lack of Management Plan for the fishery, including harvest rules
  • Lack of stock assessment and reference points

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During this meeting, representatives of US importers, Guatemala exporters, artisanal fishermen and CeDePesca came to an agreement about a workplan and a minimum budget. At the meeting, the artisanal fishermen also committed themselves to collaborate with data collection. It was also agreed the participation of a Guatemalan delegation at a mahi scientific workshop to be held in Ecuador in December 2014.

The artisanal fishermen also voiced their concern that they found their fishing activities to not be cost effective: the price of mahi at the beach landing and the costs associated with the fishing operation were not proportional (in addition to the maintenance of the vessels, i.e. engines). Furthermore, the fishermen believe it’s not jus an issue of maintaining the resource but how they can maintain their livelihoods so that they can engage in better practices. This raises the question of whether these programs should also have a social component to address the maintenance of the fishermen livelihoods while supporting better fishing practices. For instance, increase dock-side and beach price of product, work with government authorities to reduce the gas cost and change of engines to be more eco-friendly and cost effective.

Additional information and links to both the public report and the gap analysis can be found at our Sea Delight Ocean Fund website:

http://www.seadelightoceanfund.org/guatemala.php

as well as CeDePesca’s FIP Progress Page:

http://cedepesca.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/FIP_Progress_Update_Mani_Guatemala.pdf