Exclusive fishing zone as a strategy for managing fishery resources by the Seri Indians, Gulf of California, Mexico
AdvisorShaw, William W.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractI analyzed the Seri Exclusive Fishing Zone (SEFZ) in the Gulf of California, to assess its efficiency in solving common fisheries management problems related to open access resources. A review of the major historical changes in the socio-cultural context of marine natural resource use in the region showed the SEFZ has allowed the Seri to successfully keep and improve control of access to the Infiernillo Channel, as well as reduce competition with fishers from Bahia Kino in a region with increasing competition for marine resources. However, the SEFZ showed severe limitations that produced conflicts of variable intensity. The most important were lack of clear geographic limits to SEFZ, clear systems to transfer fishing rights, and rights to defend with armed guards the integrity of their marine territory. The role of Seri and Federal Government authorities in conflict creation and resolution and the perception of the outcomes of these conflicts for Seri and Bahia Kino fishers are analyzed on four recent conflict events. Several potential opportunities to promote co-management of fisheries by the federal government and local fisheries management authorities emerged from the SEFZ. However, none of these opportunities, in the form of informal arrangements, succeeded in creating better relationships between Seri and Bahia Kino communities of fishers. I used the jaiba (Callinectes bellicosus) crab fishery inside the SEFZ to assess dynamics of marine resources under Seri common property ownership. I found that inside the SEFZ fishing effort is controlled, the fishing ban is honored, fishing areas are rotated throughout the season, and no-fishing zones are functional. I used data from jaiba buyers, and extensive catch sampling during two fishing seasons, to determine yearly production in Punta Chueca, as well as average daily catch and other descriptive catch statistics. Jaiba is an important resource in the economy of Punta Chueca, and its local management has been facilitated by the SEFZ to produce a fishery that, to date, appears to be sustainable. However, the long-term viability of this fishery inside the SEFZ is vulnerable to outside harvesting patterns and to political and economic influences over which the Seri have no control.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Renewable Natural Resources