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Fishermen Oppose A Plan To Create A Nature Reserve in Baja California Sur

Propsed nature reserve area
Coalición en Defensa de los Mares de México (CODEMAR)
handout | contributor
A proposed nature reserve in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur would include 19.2 million hectares of coastal areas in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez.

A proposal to create a new nature reserve in the Baja California Peninsula is stirring up controversy, and fishermen are threatening to shut down ports if the plan goes forward.

Conservation groups have proposed creating a new coastal nature reserve in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. They say the 19.2 million hectare reserve in the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez would protect marine life from threats like fishing and mining.

But fishermen throughout the region see the reserve as a threat to their way of life.

The fishing industry considers this a first step to shutting down industrial fishing throughout the Sea of Cortez, says Leon Tissot Plant. He’s a spokesman for the fishing industry’s chamber of commerce in Sonora.

“They don’t mind if people are without jobs," he said. "They don’t mind if in Guaymas we will have 4,000 families without income. They don’t care.”

Fishermen in Sonora announced last Thursday that they will shut down sea ports if the reserve is created.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.