Socioeconomic diagnosis of the 2010 jumbo squid artisanal fishery near Magdalena Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Andrew Jon Schneller, Veronica Castañeda Fernández de Lara, Cesar Augusto Salinas Zavala, Arminda Mejía Rebollo


Between January and August of 2010 the southwestern side of the Baja California peninsula in Baja California Sur, Mexico experienced a temporary intense growth of jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas). We documented the resulting fishery phenomenon by conducting interviews with 110 artisanal fishermen in the community of Puerto San Carlos using a structured paper interview instrument that employed qualitative research methods to better understand the economic, demographic, and geographical catch and fleet characteristics of this fishery. We also conducted six semi-structured interviews with seafood buyer-exporters. Data show that squid fisherman temporarily migrated to Puerto San Carlos from Santa Rosalia, B. C. S., Sonora, and Sinaloa where the artisanal jumbo squid fishery is rooted. Fishermen from Puerto San Carlos, Adolfo López Mateos, and various inland B. C. S. communities found economic opportunity in the abundance of squid near Magdalena Bay. The Catch Per Unit Effort was 0.57 (+/?0.29) t of squid per day, limited only by the size of boats. Product exporters paid as much as 6 mexican pesos/kilo ($0.50 USD) at the onset of the fishery in January and February, and prices lowered to 2.5-3.0 mexican pesos/kilo ($0.25 USD) during summer months. This research also identified the shipping routes of squid from Mexico to Asian markets. Official fisheries data gathered by SAGARPA showed that Puerto San Carlos’ artisanal squid fleet caught and exported 19,208 metric t of squid in 2010, representing $4.8 million USD.

Palabras clave

Artisanal fishery; jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas); Magdalena Bay; Mexico; socioeconomic analysis.

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