Facts of the Biosphere Reserve Islas del Pacifico de Baja California
(with main focus on Cedros and Benitos Islands)
– The processes to the decree took more than 10 years. The benefits to the community of Cedros Island from this NPA are many, and in our case, it gives us certainty about the future with only ourselves (locals) responsible for the proper management and conservation of the resources we depend on. In the past, fleet of 60+ shrimp trawlers boats will devastate the species of the bottom of the ocean including tons of lobster, small groupers, baby black seabass, calicos, halibut and more. Also, it will stop purse seiners from taking all the bait and small school fish from the Vizcaino Bay, which are main food of our target fish.
– Although there is a price to pay for this (restrictions, permits, etc) its a small inconvenient compared to the many benefits this will bring to the local community of Cedros in the long term. For instance, last season of lobster fishing by the cooperative was the worst catch in the more than 50 years. Probably caused by El Nino or combined with the shrimp trawlers activity. This needed to stop or the community would collapse.
–Furthermore, since the rules of the Biosphere reserve ban the San Diego Sportfishing Long Range fleet from fishing around Cedros and Benitos islands, we would like to invite them to work with any local company of their choosing, so their clients will have continued access.
Cedros OUTDOOR Adevntures is a bi-national company with excellent reputation and trajectory, and we are open to working on the details with any boat or company interested in collaboration in the area.
– In Mexico, Natural Protected Areas (NPAs), also known as Biosphere Reserves, are created by the federal government and signed into law by the President of Mexico.
– NPAs have the main objective of the preservation and sustainable management of the natural resources, ecosystems and species of wildlife in the area.
-The new NPA (Islas de Pacifica de Baja California) includes Cedros Island, plus 20 other islands and 97 islets, along with the surrounding waters.
– On these islands and the surrounding waters, unique ecosystems and species exist. Some are rare, endangered, or require strict management with focus on sustainability.
– As in every other Mexican Biosphere Reserve, as specified by the law, the main beneficiaries from the use and exploitation of these natural resources are the local communities, who must be involved in any economic activity (as was done, for example, with whale watching in San Ignacio lagoon).
– In the case of Benitos and Cedros islands, the local community and local sportfishing operations in existence before the decree will be the exclusive ones allowed to develop projects to exploit the fisheries and resources of the area going forward.
– The decree establishes the general rules, effective immediately after its publication (Dec 7, 2016), but the specific details of its operation and management will be decided during the various meetings and discussions coming over the next few months. The resulting bylaws will be used by the agency of the NPA (CONANP) to administer the NPA.
– Any concession or permit issued before the decree will be valid until its expiration.
Reading the Map
– In the decree (read here
) there are maps in which areas are illustrated, noting the areas off limits for certain activities or access (i.e. Zonas Nucleo and Zonas de Amortiguamiento).
– Destructive and intensive fisheries such as shrimp trawlers and seiners are banned from working in all of these areas.
– In the Zonas Nucleo (all are on land) permitted activities include conservation, restoration, research, education, low impact tourism, among others.
– In the Zonas Nucleo it is illegal to pollute, to hunt (except for eradication of exotic species), mine, etc.
– In the Zonas de Amortiguamiento (marine and land) permitted activities include all of the ones of the Zona Nucleo and use of natural resources for local’s subsistence, fishing (within regulations), infrastructure for navy, research, and safety, and navigation (use of ports), aquaculture. In the case of Cedros and Benitos area, fishing vessels can not exceed 10.5 m in length.
– In the Zonas de Amortiguamiento and in the Zonas Nucleo the following activities are illegal: to build containments for dangerous substances; to build disposal sites (except for Cedros and Magdalena); fishing trawling or using permanent structures; using chemicals for fishing; to affect
ecosystems in any way; to bring exotic species to the islands or use for aquaculture; to build any private infrastructure outside of the population centers; to start fires or create loud noises that disturb the wildlife; to make major repairs or maintenance to boats and motors; to use explosives.
– Users of the areas are obligated to respect the conservation mandate within the specific regulations and permissions, for sustainability. For these, a EIA should be submitted and must comply with the management program.
You can contact us with any questions or comments
Cedros Outdoor Adventures